Reinhard A. (Bud) Wobus

In the spring of 1966, you came to Williams to meet with geology professor Freeman Foote. What began as an informal interview turned into a formal one, and here we are, 55 years later, so grateful that you made your career in the Berkshire Hills. Yes, you like to remind us, hills is a more accurate term than mountains. You joined a department of four men, teaching only men. Yet you relished Williams’ evolution to coeducation. You also welcomed the transformation that took place as your discipline expanded from what you called “solid earth” geology to encompass Earth’s oceans and atmosphere. You have taught foundational courses in mineralogy and in igneous and metamorphic petrology, leading students in those classes on geologic excursions around the Berkshires and in New Hampshire. You have inspired countless undergraduates to major in what are now the geosciences, with many of them continuing on to careers in the field. No wonder the National Association of Geosciences Teachers honored you with a prestigious Neil Miner Teaching Award. By collaborating with other small colleges, you created meaningful, field-based research opportunities for students, beginning in the 1970s with the Williams-Amherst-Mount Holyoke-Smith Inter-institutional Project in Geology. A decade later, together with your colleague the late professor Bill Fox, you co-founded the Keck Geology Consortium, which today counts 18 member institutions supporting undergraduate research. You were instrumental in the geologic mapping of parts of New Mexico and Colorado and, for 40 years, worked summers at the Colorado Outdoor Education Center. There you welcomed a group of Williams alumni for a college-sponsored travel-study experience in 1981, launching what has become a robust, global program. More than 450 alumni have traveled with you to Colorado over the years. And with other alumni travel destinations including Patagonia, Australia, Switzerland, Iceland, Hawaii, the Galapagos and Williamstown—where you lead “Williams Rocks” tours during Reunion Weekend—you have led more alumni trips than any other Williams faculty member. For all of this, and for so much more that won’t fit into a short citation, we thank you.

I hereby declare you the Edna McConnell Clark Professor of Geology, Emeritus, entitled to all the rights, honors, and privileges appertaining thereto.

May 31, 2021