Bolkosky pictured in the lower righthand corner.
Bolkosky pictured in the lower righthand corner.

BY ELIZABETH BASTIAN, Opinion Editor

Professor Sidney Bolkosky was honored with a retirement party last Thursday, February 9, held in Kochoff Hall.

Professor Bolkosky has been at the University of Michigan Dearborn for 39 years. He has served as the William E. Stirton Professor of History, Director of the CASL Honors Program, and a Faculty Associate at ICPSR. In addition, Bolkosky created and directed the Voice/Vision Oral History project on campus, focusing on recording and preserving the memories of Holocaust survivors worldwide. He has affected many students and faculty on and off campus, and will be sorely missed. The Winter 2012 semester is his last with the university.

The event was a collaboration of speeches, honors, and food with a Mediterranean flavor.

Attendees included Sid, his wife Lori, their children Gabe and Miriam, current and alumni UMD Honors Program students, current and retired faculty, and several Holocaust survivors. Over 200 people officially RSVP’ed for the event, with quite a few more stopping by to send off Bolkosky with the best of wishes.

History and Honors Program Professor Gerald Moran provided the introductions for the range of speakers at the event, and gave a speech himself. Other speakers at the party included Chancellor Little, Elaine Clark, Jamie Wraight, Barbara Kriigle, Erik Austin and Bree Gunter (both from the Ann Arbor campus), and Michele Rushman.

Gunter announced the Austin-Bolkosky Scholarship Fund during her part, created “…to honor our two most important mentors at University of Michigan.” As it is, the fund will provide a $4,000, four year scholarship (at $1,000 per year) for a UM-Dearborn freshman who has declared a Social Science major in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters. The scholarship is more geared towards students who have been out of high school for at least four years, lived independently, and worked full time. The student should be enrolled at least half-time and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the second through the fourth year in order to remain eligible.

The Chancellor presented Bolkosky with an award, and the Social Science Department presented him with a rolling suitcase. The man of the hour himself gave the closing remarks, thanking several people for their love and support and bringing a tear to many an eye in the room.

Those who are interested in donating to the Austin-Bolkosky Endowment can donate directly to the university by sending checks indicating the Austin Bolkosky Scholarship Fund to the UM-Dearborn Office of Institutional Advancement.