Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I hope and trust, dear reader, that you had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday.

Today's post is about an event that took place earlier in November: the investiture ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Science's  two new W.D. and Sara E. Trowbridge Professors, Robert Markley of English and Peter Fritzsche of History.  If you are an exceptionally diligent reader of this blog, you will remember that I first posted about the Professorship some time ago, when the appointment was initially made.  The investiture comes after the fact, a nice ceremonial event in which the honor is celebrated and the honorees are given medallions (like the one pictured to the left) indicative of their titles.  Professors don't get to wear medallions all that often, so that alone makes an investiture seem like a pretty special event!

To the right is a picture of the two honorees, sporting their medallions, along with Dean Ruth Watkins of LAS, Ilesanmi Adesida, the Provost of our campus, yours truly, and Diane Koenker, the chair of the History Department.

The event was held at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center on November 5th--I am posting about it now just because it took a while for pictures to be send to my office!  Here are a couple more of Bob, both during his remarks and after the ceremony. 

I'm told that we don't know too much about the Trowbridge family whose gift made this Professorship possible, but they (like all who choose to support the mission of public higher education and humanities research) have my gratitude.

Congratulations, too, to Bob (and Peter) on this well-earned distinction!

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