The Herbert and Evelyn Howe Bascom Professorship

Thanks to the initiative, dedication, and generosity of UW/Ford Foundation Early Admissions Scholars (1951-1959) as well as the leadership of Earl Dolven, the “Herbert and Evelyn Howe Bascom Professorship” was created in October 1996 and fully funded in April 2000.

For nearly four decades, Herb and Eve taught at the University of Wisconsin and were two of the most beloved and influential teachers on campus.  Perhaps best remembered for their contributions to the Integrated Liberal Studies program, they also played paramount roles as mentors to the Ford Pre-Induction Scholars, who matriculated at the ages of 15 or 16 as part of an experimental scholarship program funded by the Ford Foundation.  Initiated in 1951 against the backdrop of the Cold War and the Korean War, the program itself sought to respond to the looming challenge that the prospect of two years of universal military training at age 18 might pose to students and their pursuit of higher education.  With the threat of a universal draft gone by 1953, the program would draw to a close by 1957.  But over the five years that it ran, the University of Wisconsin was home to some 160 Ford Scholars.

ILS and Herb and Evelyn Howe were important to the success of Ford Scholars at UW—as attested by the latter’s own personal stories.  Herb served as academic advisor for most Ford Scholars.  He was helpful when needed and left them alone when they wanted.  Evelyn added mentorship and welcome social occasions with dinners at the Howe home.  Of course, both Evelyn and Herb taught in ILS and with their encouragement many Ford Scholars enrolled in ILS and found the experience rewarding.  As one Ford Scholar, Fred Glaser, after a distinguished career as a physician specializing in addiction, told an interviewer:

“I think that ILS was the single most important formative influence on my development. We learned about things that I never would have studied on my own, because I did not know what they were. . . . I think ILS provided a humanistic perspective that was invaluable and has influenced me all my life.”

For over two decades now, the “Herbert and Evelyn Howe Bascom Professorship” has honored the contributions of the Howes by supporting faculty members who have made “active, ongoing contributions to the ILS program” and who have “enhanced student learning on campus.” In the spirit of Herb and Eve, the recipient must have a strong record of outstanding undergraduate teaching.  Past recipients include Professors Rick Avramenko, Robert Booth Fowler, Joseph Elder, Michael Hinden, Florence Hsia, Laura McClure, Cathy Middlecamp, Michael Shank, Mike Vanden Heuvel, and Craig Werner.

Please consider supporting the “Herbert and Evelyn Howe Bascom Professorship” or another fund in ILS.  Your support is crucial in helping us as we pursue the ILS mission of “provid[ing] an integrated exploration of the great themes of human inquiry and expression in scientific, literary, political, economic, historical and artistic thought” to undergraduate students here at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Carousel photo credits:

Image #1: Satran, Dick (photo). Story by P.B. “Dear Diogenes.” The Daily Cardinal. 25 September 1972. In “Herbert and Evelyn Howe papers, bulk 1952-1985.” Accession numbers: 1986/009 and UA2019/035. University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives, Madison, Wisconsin.

Image #2: “On Wisconsin.” 1982. Vol. 4:4. p. 3. In “Herbert and Evelyn Howe papers, bulk 1952-1985.” Accession numbers: 1986/009 and UA2019/035. University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives, Madison, Wisconsin.

Image #3: Thompson, C.A. (photo). Story by S. Sorenson. “52 Youths Skip Senior Year in High School, Attend U. in New Experiment.” The Capital Times. 19 September 1952. In “Herbert and Evelyn Howe papers, bulk 1952-1985.” Accession numbers: 1986/009 and UA2019/035. University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives, Madison, Wisconsin. (In photo: Prof. Herbert Howe is seated in lower center right. Surrounding him are Ford Scholars [from left to right]: Keith Pursel, David Skwire [seated], David Beaucage, Paul Jenkinson [seated], James Craig King, Fred Glaser, Charles Stephenson, Andrew Ferber, Chris Schubert, Laurence (?) Friedman, and Jon Ghiselin.)

Left hand side: "Howes Served UW--Together." The Wisconsin State Journal. 17 August 1982. In "Herbert and Evelyn Howe papers, bulk 1952-1985." Accession numbers: 1986/009 and UA2019/035. University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives, Madison, Wisconsin. Right hand side: "Ford Scholars Did Well, Especially Scholastically." 9 July 1957. The Daily Cardinal. In "Herbert and Evelyn Howe papers, bulk 1952-1985." Accession numbers: 1986/009 and UA2019/035. University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives, Madison, Wisconsin.