The following are Bill Kerr's comments on Howard Sheilds on the occasion of Howard's retirrement dinner, May 4, 2001. Click here for a collection of photos from the evening.
Howard has been an example of the essence and epitome of professionalism in our calling, that is, of being a university professor. This work requires us to do many things; Howard has done them all and done them well.
Since he is in a department that does science, he has of course done that with great enthusiasm and effect. His accomplishments and record along this line include a continuous stream of papers starting in 1955 and running until 2000. (This year’s paper is still in press!) You can also see this record in a form that you can touch in his office, where there is a shelf full of theses by his students. He received recognition for his scientific prowess early on when he received a Sloan Foundation Fellowship. And he is the only member of our department who has achieved the status of Fellow of the American Physical Society.
It’s interesting just to review some of Howard’s co-authors on these papers. There is of course Phil Hamrick, whom we’re very glad to see this evening. Some of the students’ who appeared on these papers and whom Howard might recall fondly include Terry de Lyon, David Sane, Masahiro Itoh and Fon-Jen Chiu, Charles McGlumphy, and Rodney Williams.
While pursuing his scientific activities, Howard also managed to carry more than his share of service to the broader University community, that is, to committee work. He has probably been on every committee that Wake Forest has, plus some from other places. One of his memorable contributions to the improvement of the University was his service on the committee that got rid of the 4-1-4 curriculum that we tried in the early 1970’s. He also served on the faculty committee that was advisory to the trustees when they brought President Hearn to Wake Forest University in 1983. And sometime back then Howard also served on a national committee of the American Association of University Professors.
Howard has made contributions to his church and to the work of the Boy Scouts, back when his sons were active in that organization. He has always been a strong Democrat! And it is well known that he has supported his wife Anne on her many projects that make Winston-Salem a more attractive place to live.
So, as a small token of our appreciation of your contributions to our welfare, the department presents you with this collection of expressions of gratitude and memories from some of your colleagues.