Robert Givens emeritus citation, 2019
For forty years you have been a valued member of the Cornell College community and the Department of History. Your courses in modern European history and Russian history, in particular, have been models of providing valuable content and enhancing critical analysis skills for students. Your appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of the liberal arts led to your contributions to international relations, economic history, and Russian studies.
You have been an important member of almost every committee of the faculty. As a member of the AAUP you have often reminded us of our interests and rights at Cornell College. You have been a wise mentor to several generations of departmental colleagues.
Your courses helped your students make sense of the Cold War and the subsequent rapid political change in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In and out of the classroom you offered valuable perspective and understanding at a time in world history when perspective and reason were desperately needed. In general, students have benefitted from your deep knowledge of historic and current events. Your dry wit and great sense of humor have enlivened countless classrooms and your grateful colleagues.
You made the world your classroom by taking students to the Soviet Union and Russia whereby Cornellians could immerse themselves in a sophisticated culture and appreciate the hopes and fears of a people incompletely represented during troubled times.
You rejuvenated Cornell College’s participation in the Fulbright Fellowship program taking it to unprecedented levels. Through your leadership over fifteen successful applications by Cornell students have brought prestige to the Hilltop and given those students an exceptional post-graduate educational experience. Your guidance reshaped their futures. Your own expertise in teaching and Russian history has led to your winning two Fulbright fellowships.
Robert, Thank you for all the contributions you have made as a faculty member and mentor at Cornell College.