Posted January 12, 2000
Emeritus professor of zoology Richard M. Eakin, who impersonated historic figures in the field of biology to entertain and educate his students, died Nov. 25, at his home in Danville. He was 89.
Eakin, former chairman of the zoology department and an expert on the fine structure of the eye, worried that his lectures were boring, so he decided to dress up as some of the great biologists, and present their discoveries and thoughts in their own words.
For 17 years, he portrayed such scientific luminaries as Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, William Beaumont and Hans Spemann.
He won the campus's first Citation for Distinguished Teaching in 1962 and the ASUC's Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1968.
In addition to his magnetic teaching style, he played a big part in strengthening Berkeley's zoology department.
"He built up the department in the 1950s and 1960s as the best zoology department in the country," said Oliver Pearson, emeritus professor of zoology and emeritus director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. "Everyone admired and respected Eakin. He did a lot for the university."
Born in Florence, Colo., in 1910, Eakin received both his AB and Ph.D. in zoology from Berkeley.
He was hired here in 1940 and became a full professor in 1949. He served two terms as chairman of the Department of Zoology, for a total of ten years, and as assistant dean of the College of Letters and Science for three.
Eakin conducted research on the eyes of animals, in particular the so-called "third eye" of lizards, frogs and other animals.
A fellow of the California Academy of Sciences for 52 years, Eakin received a host of awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Walker Prize and the Berkeley Citation.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Nichols) Eakin of Danville; a son, David of Richmond, Calif.; a daughter, Dottie of College Station, Texas; and two stepdaughters, Janet Harris of Sebastopol, Calif., and Jeannie Lamb of Bozeman, Mont. His first wife, the Rev. Mary Mulford Eakin, died in 1980.
The family plans a private service. Memorial contributions may be sent to Save Mount Diablo, P.O. Box 5376, Walnut Creek, CA, 94596; the California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA 94118; or the San Francisco Symphony, Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA, 94102.
Betrand Evans, a professor emeritus of English, died in December at the age of 87. A Shakespeare scholar and author, Evans taught at Berkeley from the 1940s to 1970, when he retired and moved to Crescent City. Evans earned his bachelor's degree from Oregon State, his master's from the University of Oregon, and doctorate from UC Berkeley. He enjoyed fishing and writing.
Woodrow Borah, a leading expert in Latin American history and professor emeritus, died Dec. 10, at age 86.
Borah, who lived in Berkeley, died at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, following a long illness.
For several decades Borah was one of the most active and influential scholars working to reconstruct the colonial experience in Spanish America.
Borah's scholarly contributions covered disparate topics, from early inter-colonial trade to the Indian legal courts of Colonial Mexico. For many years, he researched the demographic impact of the Spanish conquest and colonization on the native population.
Borah's numerous awards and honors included the Bolton Prize for the best book in English on Latin America, in 1983, and a distinguished service award from the American Historical Association.
Borah was born in 1912 in Utica, Miss., and earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at Berkeley.
He taught briefly at Princeton University before joining the U.S. State Department from 1942 to 1947, working as an analyst in the Office of Strategic Services.
Borah joined Berkeley's history faculty in 1948. Borah served as chairman of the campus's Center for Latin American Studies from 1973 to 1979. He retired from active teaching in 1980.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Terry Borah, of Berkeley. He also leaves two children, Jonathan Borah of Oakland; and Ruth Borah of Voorschoten, the Netherlands.
Plans are under way for a memorial service next month at Temple Beth El in Berkeley.
Arnold Leiman, a leader in undergraduate education and professor of psychology, died in his sleep Jan. 5, at his home in Berkeley. He was 67.
Leiman was treasured as a kind and caring professor, inspiring both undergraduate and graduate students with a love of science. He also was widely known on campus for his many top level administrative roles, which focused on innovations in undergraduate education.
In the early 1990s, Leiman inaugurated the popular Freshmen Seminar program. He also was chairman of Berkeley's Academic Senate (1990-91), chairman of the system-wide Academic Council (1995-96), and faculty representative to the UC Board of Regents (1994-96). Leiman won the campus's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1990 and the Berkeley Citation in 1999.
Most recently, he directed the campus's Center for Studies in Higher Education.
"Arnie Leiman was simply a great faculty member and leader of the campus," said Chancellor Berdahl. "Everyone who knew him here will miss his leadership, his good sense, and his warm human spirit. I personally will miss his good advice."
Born in 1932 in the Bronx, Leiman earned his B.A. from Antioch College in 1954 and his doctorate in 1963 from the University of Rochester. Hired at Berkeley in 1964, he taught here for 36 years.
Leiman's early research contributed to knowledge of the development of the nervous system. His work focused on the biological underpinnings of normal psychology and dysfunction, sleeping and dreaming, memory and motor ability.
He had a reputation on campus as an inspired teacher.
"Students loved his courses," said Marc Breedlove, professor of psychology. "Arnie had an encyclopedic knowledge of psychology and the nervous system. He seemed to remember everything he ever read, and he loved learning it."
Leiman is survived by his wife, Lannon Leiman of Berkeley; their two children, Timothy Leiman of Chicago and Jessica Leiman, a Ph.D. candidate in English at Yale University; a brother, Melvin Leiman, who lives in France; and two sisters, Carole Abel of New York City and Marlene Koslan of Florida.
A campus memorial service is being planned for sometime this semester. The family requests that donations in Leiman's memory be sent to the Arnold L. Leiman Memorial Fund, UC Foundation, 2440 Bancroft Way, MC4200, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-4200.
John Kelley, emeritus professor of mathematics, died Nov. 26, at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, of complications resulting from surgery. He was 82.
Kelley, who served twice as chairman of Berkeley's mathematics department, played a major role in the department's ascent to its top position in national rankings. He also was one of 29 tenured faculty members fired by the university in 1950 for refusing to sign a loyalty oath. He returned to the university three years later.
Kelley arrived at Berkeley in 1947 and served two terms-- from 1957 to 1960 and from 1975 to 1978 -- as chairman of the mathematics department. He helped hire some of its most distinguished faculty, strongly contributing to the department's reputation. He retired in 1985.
Kelley was born in Kansas in 1916. He earned his A.B. and M.A. degrees at UCLA and Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. He worked at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago before becoming an associate professor at Berkeley. His research publications were principally in the fields of topology and analysis.
Kelley served on the Council of the American Mathematical Society, the Board of Governors of The Mathematical Association of America and was a Fulbright Research Professor.
Kelley's interest in mathematics teaching extended far beyond his own classes. In 1960, he took a leave of absence to serve as the National Teacher on NBC's "Continental Classroom" television program. He was an active member of The School of Mathematics Study Group which, in the early 1960s, transformed the way mathematics is taught nationwide.
From 1977 to 1978, Kelley was a member of the U.S. Commission on Mathematical Instruction and subsequently helped bring The Fourth International Congress of Mathematics Education to Berkeley in 1980.
Kelley is survived by a younger brother, Charles Kelley of Vancouver, Canada; an older sister, Lois Kelley Vincent of Tucson, Ariz.; and by five children and their families: Jonathan Kelley and Mariah Evans, both of the Australian National University; Sarita R. Kelley of Berkeley; Bruce and Colette Kelley of Berkeley; Paul Kelley and Linda Buckle of Newcastle, England; and Max Kelley, who was adopted at the time of Kelley's marriage to Ying Lee. Kelley had seven grandchildren.
Kelley also is survived by his wife of 37 years, Ying Lee, and his adopted daughter Sara Ying Kelley. A memorial service will be held Sunday, Jan. 30, in the Faculty Club's Great Hall.