More news of Yale people


Four years of Ezra Stiles College were not enough for Stephen Pitti ’91: Pitti, a professor of history and American studies, is returning to Stiles as its master this fall. A California native, Pitti specializes in Chicano history and is the director of the undergraduate major in ethnicity, race, and migration. His wife, Alicia Schmidt-Camacho, will be the college’s associate master; she is an associate professor of American studies whose scholarship is focused on Mexican-American border issues. They have twin seven-year-old children, Antonio and Thalia.

Rev. Ian Oliver has been appointed Yale’s senior associate chaplain and pastor at Battell Chapel. Oliver, a United Church of Christ minister, has been the chaplain at Bucknell University since 1996. Traditionally, the university chaplain has also been the pastor of Battell. But when Sharon Kugler, a Catholic layperson, was appointed chaplain last year, Yale president Richard Levin specified that a Protestant minister would be appointed to serve Battell.

Joan Feigenbaum has been appointed the first Grace Murray Hopper Professor of Computer Science at Yale. Feigenbaum, who has been on the Yale faculty since 2000, focuses her research on Internet algorithms, computational complexity, security and privacy, and digital copyright. The professorship was named for Grace Hopper ’34PhD, a pioneer of computer science.



William R. Bennett Jr., the C. Baldwin Sawyer Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science and Physics, died of cancer on June 29 at his home in Haverford, Pennsylvania. He was 78. Bennett, who taught at Yale from 1957 to 1959 and from 1962 to 1998, was a co-inventor of the gas laser, a technology that made compact disc players, grocery-store scanners, and certain types of eye surgery possible. Bennett was master of Silliman College from 1981 to 1987.

Shakespearean scholar George K. Hunter, who taught at Yale from 1976 to 1991, died on April 10 in Topsham, Maine. He was 87. Hunter, a native of Glasgow, helped revolutionize literary study in Great Britain after World War II by emphasizing the comparative study of European literary traditions. At Yale, he was appointed the Emily Sanford Professor of English and chaired the Renaissance studies program from 1985 to 1991. He was best known for his work on Shakespeare and other Elizabethan playwrights.  


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