Cynthia Behrman Dinners

Celebrating Extraordinary Scholarly and Professional Achievement

Emerita Professor of History Cynthia Behrman, one of the first female professors at Wittenberg, would say to her students “that the meaning of life was to work well and to love well.” For many of her students, she became the very model of living and working well. One student remembers, “She was such a trailblazer as a woman in a department of men, and who at the same time had such a vibrant social life, with family and friends, alongside her professional work and achievements.”

Colleagues felt the same, especially those who garnered a coveted invitation to dinner. Emerita Professor of English Mimi Dixon remembers fondly, “All the beautiful meals, the long conversations in that dining room surrounded by reference books—for checking our facts—and the wine bottles up on the shelf above the books. The motets we’d sing, as I struggled to keep up with the sight reading. The visits to her vegetable garden to see what’s new, or out to her gazebo, to contemplate the lake. The rich smells of cooking, Cynthia’s warm smile as she strides to the door to greet us.”

In honor of Cynthia Behrman’s accomplishments as a teacher, scholar, and exemplary of living well, the Behrman Dinners celebrate Extraordinary Scholarly and Professional Achievement. Each year, Faculty Development sponsors a dinner for up to twelve Wittenberg colleagues to discuss the work of a selected Wittenberg faculty member. This faculty member will have been nominated by their chair based on exceptional achievement in their field. Faculty Development will review all nominations and select between one and five faculty each year to receive this dinner. Requests for nominations will be sent at the beginning of each semester.

The recipient of the award chooses the venue for the dinner, the Wittenberg guest list, and the date and time of the dinner. Faculty Developments subsidizes the dinner depending upon available funds. These dinners allow for vibrant conversations among faculty and staff over the course of a shared meal and in an atmosphere of collegiality.

Announcing the inaugural recipients of the Behrman Dinners

  • Professor Shelley Chan, Chinese Language and Cultures
  • Kristin Cline, Professor of Chemistry
  • Professor Lauren Crane, Associate Professor of Psychology

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