Remarks of Gail Kern Paster
May 16, 2004
I came to The George Washington University in 1974 as an instructor
in the English Department, and I rose to the ranks as one does until
I left in 2002. Throughout that time I've had the encouragement,
the interest and the support of a number of Columbian College deans,
of Vice President Don Lehman, and especially of our President, Stephen
Joel Trachtenberg. Without that support, without that encouragement,
without that interest for my scholarship and for my teaching, I
could not have been awarded the opportunity, the great gift, of
becoming the director of one of the world's great libraries.
Gail Kern Paster
that time as well, GW as an intellectual leader in humanistic education
forged partnerships with the Folger Library that have strengthened
both institutions in innumerable ways.
In 1974 I could
not possibly have imagined that I would stand on this stage today
and receive an honorary degree. Indeed, in January of 2004, perhaps
in April of 2004, I could not have imagined it.
So I am deeply
honored and deeply grateful to you, President Trachtenberg, to the
Board of Trustees, and to all my wonderful former colleagues sitting
behind me who have contributed to the wonderful intellectual conversation
that has been my life.
Thanks to all
of you very much.
More About Gail Kern Paster
A noted Shakespearean scholar, Gail Kern Paster took office as director
of the Folger Shakespeare Library on July 1, 2002. She continues
as editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, the leading scholarly journal
in the field, published by the Folger Library in association with
The George Washington University. Paster was formerly professor
of English at GW, where she had taught since 1974. In addition,
Paster has been a trustee of the Shakespeare Association of America
and just completed a term as president of that organization. She
served two terms as a public member of the Folger Shakespeare Library
committee. She has won many national fellowships and awards, including
fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation,
the National Endowment of the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim
Memorial Foundation and the Mellon Foundation.
©2004 The George Washington University Office of
University Relations, Washington, D.C.