Professor Clifford remembered for humor, heart
University of Connecticut professor of political science J. Garry Clifford will be remembered for his dedication to teaching, his contributions to political science and his leadership as director of graduate studies for his department.
Clifford, 72, died while walking outside of Homer Babbidge Library on March 26. The cause of his death is unkown.
Clifford was active in his research which specialized in American Diplomacy. This subject served as a general theme for many of his research projects and publications. Clifford authored, co-authored or contributed to five books and was working on a sixth that delved into President Franklin D. Roosevelt's intervention in World War II.
In the classroom, Mark Boyer, director of Environmental Studies, said Clifford made teaching a top priority, especially during his 30-year term as director of graduate studies for the political science department.
"Throughout his time (as director), Garry always put the students first and he became beloved by many as a result of his friendship and advocacy," Boyer said.
Boyer said Clifford was quick to make people laugh, loved the game of golf and was an avid Red Sox fan.
Born in Haverhill, Mass., Clifford graduated from Williams College in 1964 before moving on to Indiana University to pursue graduate work. It was there that he received his M.A., his Ph.D, a University Fellowship and began his career in academia as a teaching associate. Clifford began work at UConn in 1969, but instructed at the University of Tennessee, Dartmouth College, Cornell University and Vassar College during his career.
In honor of Clifford's extensive work with graduate students, the university is creating a scholarship fund for Ph.D. students in Clifford's name.
Boyer, a colleague of Clifford for 26 years, summed up the essence of his friend, mentor and "source of laughter."
"Garry was an amazing person," he said. "Always quick with a laugh, ethical to his core, and passionate about doing the right thing for students."
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