Theodore A. Tarkow

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By mmcarthur on May 30, 2013.

Our second honoree of this evening is Theodore Tarkow, who joined the faculty of the University of Missouri in 1970 as an Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, and who has risen to the rank of full professor. Since 1982 he has also been Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences, with duties ranging from curriculum and student matters through budget and space allotments to Undergraduate Research and Freshman and Transfer Interest Group programs. The University of Missouri stresses the interconnections between secondary school experience and undergraduate college experience, and Professor Tarkow also serves as Co-Director of the Missouri Scholars Academy, for which he administers a summer residential program for academically gifted high school students that is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as by the university.
Professor Tarkow received his own education from Oberlin College, where he did undergraduate work, and from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he received both an M.A. in Classical Studies and a Ph.D. His doctoral dissertation was Three Aeschylean Exodoi: A Study of the Concluding Scenes of the Persians, the Seven, and the Suppliants.
As his dissertation would indicate, Professor Tarkow has been especially interested in Greek drama, and has an impressive list of publications in that area, including, with Sally MacEwen, a Bryn Mawr Commentary on Euripides’ Iphigeneia at Aulis. He has also published on other Greek poetry, and one title especially caught my eye: “Tyrtaeus 9D: The Role of Poetry in the New Sparta,” which appeared in L’Antiquite Classique 52 in 1983.
In addition to his many publications in Classics, our honoree has written chapters, with Frankie D. Minor and Charles C. Schroeder, on academic programs for undergraduate students across the disciplines. One of these is on “Learning Communities: Partnerships Between Academic and Student Affairs,” in Learning Communities: New Structures, New Partnerships for Learning, edited by J.H. Levine. Another is “Freshman Interest Groups: Partnerships for Promoting Student Success,” which was part of Creating Successful Partnerships Between Academic and Student Affairs, edited by J.H. Schuh and E.J. Whitt. Both of these appeared in 1999.
Professor Tarkow is at work now on three projects. One is an annotated edition of John Neihardt’s partial translation of the Agamemnon, and it is based on a manuscript here in the University of Missouri Western Historical Manuscript Collection. A second concerns Homeric motifs in Aristophanes’s so-called “Old Comedies.” He has given presentations recently in conjunction with this project. The talks featured the Birds, Knights, Peace, Clouds, and Lysistrata. He is also preparing essays on Greek lyric poets, and has focused on Sappho 94 and Archilochus 6 to date.
Since his list of professional service and accomplishments is lengthy, I would like to mention now just some
highlights. Among other academic funding awards, he has been a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He has won the most prestigious of teaching awards in Classics, and one presented by his peers: the Excellence in Teaching Award from the American Philological Association. He has also won awards from Mizzou’s Division of Student Affairs and from the Student Government in Arts & Sciences. Theodore Tarkow has served as president of the Classical Association of the Middle-West and South (CAMWS), and received a coveted “Ovatio” from that organization.
While deciding upon the recipients for this evening’s awards, we considered Ted Tarkow’s relationship to ΗΣΦ very carefully. We found that his support of ΗΣΦ here at the University of Missouri is a close one. As one of his colleagues wrote, “One aspect of [Professor Tarkow’s contribution to ΗΣΦ] is his loyal support or ΗΣΦ at MU, as evidenced by his work with students in our chapter through the years and his help with the organization and execution of the 2012 national conference.”
Professor Tarkow’s assistance has been much observed this weekend, but some of us are aware of another close tie he has to ΗΣΦ. He is the son-in-law of the late Executive Secretary of our Society, Theodore Bedrick, for whom our Vergilian Society Travel Scholarship is named! Ted would be proud of Ted!
It is a distinct pleasure to present to you now not only this partial list of achievements for which we honor him tonight, but the man himself, Professor Theodore A. Tarkow. Let’s welcome him to the front with a hearty applause!