Dean Philip Cohen Memorial

Participation of the Emeriti Association

The University Community assembled in Cohen Lounge on December 9th to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Philip Cohen, the former Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences from 1970-1980 and then Dean of the combined School of Humanities and Social Sciences from 1980-1992.  Dean Cohen was a charter member and ardent supporter of the MSU Emeriti Association.  The Association was well represented at the celebration by many members.  Warren Heiss, Professor Emeritus of Communication Sciences and Disorders and a founding member of the Emeriti Association, eulogized Dean Cohen as an ideal administrator whose door was always open to his faculty.  Among the most moving moments in the celebration was the reading by Carlos Ortiz of a poem by Butler Brewton, Professor Emeritus of English.

I am from a department
in the School of Humanities
at Montclair State University,
From young fresh minds of students
reading eternal lines from old geniuses
sleeping under earth, or forgotten.
I am from dedicated professors
who still profess philosophies
on which we build our lives.
I am from poems I have read
that stirred creative juice
to splatter as liquid gems
into rivers that rush
through American brains
to wash out the sludge
of clogged feelings
so new ones could form
in the rusty pipes of human thought
I am from quick burgers
in Charlie Brown,
what used to be Burns Country Inn,
The Robin Hood.
I am from Ray Paul, Harold Bonn,
Claire Healy, Rita Jacobs, Janet Cutler,
Jim Nash,  Grover Furr, and Carlos Ortiz.
I am Professor Emeritus,
and I am from Phil, Dean Phillip Cohen,
a dean whose demeanor and keen leadership
helped to engender the growth of this institution
to rise up from a modest population
to 18,000 inquisitive minds hovering
over cities and tall trees to start a new world.
I salute him,
knowing where ever he is
he salutes back, remembering
all of us as we remember him
with the fondest thoughts
and heartiest thanks!

by Dr. Butler E. Brewton, Professor Emeritus English Department