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Remembering Four Professors

The Swarthmore community mourned the loss of one current and three retired faculty members this spring and summer.

Ernie Prudente, a beloved longtime coach and professor emeritus of physical education, died April 14 at age 92.

After 27 years of service at the College, and an additional three decades in retirement consistently cheering on the Garnet from the stands, Prudente is remembered as a Swarthmore institution. The winningest head baseball coach in Garnet history, with 216 victories, Prudente also coached basketball for a time, assisted with coaching football, and invigorated the College’s intramural sports program. 

“Ernie had a profound impact on his students, this department, and the entire community,” says Adam Hertz, the Marian Ware Director of Athletics. “As a coach, professor, husband, father, mentor, and friend, he positively influenced innumerable people. His impact on Garnet athletics cannot be overstated and will not be forgotten.”

Marion Faber, the Scheuer Family Professor Emerita of Humanities and Professor Emerita of German, died April 30 at age 76.

During Faber’s 30-year tenure at the College, she taught German literature and culture and developed interdisciplinary courses in film & media studies, women’s studies, and comparative literature. Also in that time, Modern Languages and Literatures doubled in size and put a greater emphasis on cultural courses.

“When I think of Marion, I think of one of the finest colleagues I have ever worked with,” says John Hassett, the Susan W. Lippincott Professor Emeritus of Modern and Classical Languages. “She will be remembered for her kindness and sensitivity toward others, her ability to get people to work harmoniously together, her engaging sense of humor, and her incredible human warmth.”

Mark Heald, the Morris L. Clothier Professor Emeritus of Physics, died July 12 at age 91.

Heald joined Swarthmore’s physics faculty in 1959 as part of the department’s expansion and relocation to the then-new DuPont Science Center. During his 33-year tenure, his primary teaching interests included electromagnetism, classical mechanics, and physical optics. 

“Mark was a talented experimentalist, a classic physicist of the mid-to-late 20th century,” says Amy Graves, the Walter Kemp Professor in the Natural Sciences and Professor of Physics. “The activities he planned were true to what students would do in real-world electronics labs at that time.”

Stephen Golub, the Franklin and Betty Barr Professor of Economics, died Aug. 12 at age 67.

Golub, who joined the College in 1981, will be remembered as a widely respected and gifted scholar, a sought-after consultant to governments and international agencies who was as comfortable discussing his work in French as in English, a consensus seeker, and a loyal and generous friend. 

“Steve’s teaching was driven by his belief that economics could help us understand and attempt to solve challenging social and economic problems around the world,” says Professor of Economics Ellen Magenheim. “He wanted students to see how to use those skills and models in ways that could improve society — as he truly believed they could.