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Faculty of Lewis & Clark Remembered

October 04, 2012

Gus Mattersdorff, professor emeritus of economics, died April 12, 2012.

Mattersdorff arrived in the United States on Thanksgiving Day 1939 in the company of his family, Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. He was 13 years old at the time and did not speak English. Five years later, he graduated from the Holderness School in New Hampshire, with scholarship offers to Harvard and Yale. He enrolled at Harvard, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in public administration, and a doctorate in economics.

Before joining the Lewis & Clark faculty in 1963, Mattersdorff taught at Connecticut College, the University of Massachusetts, and Yale University. He also worked as a junior economist at the Economic Cooperation Administration in Washington, D.C.

Mattersdorff used his extensive personal and professional contacts to bring outstanding speakers to the campus. He helped to organize the annual Steinhardt Lecture Series, which features luminaries in the field of economics. Together with Professor Don Balmer, Mattersdorff cofounded the college’s graduate program in public administration in 1973 and codirected it until 1981. In 1996, the program moved to the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University.

Mattersdorff led overseas study programs to Germany (1967) and Great Britain (1988), as well as several off-campus programs in Washington, D.C. He also regarded the local Portland area as an “excellent learning laboratory” for students. He himself was highly active locally in public affairs. He was a longtime member of the City Club of Portland, a cofounder of the Business Roundtable, and executive director of the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference.

Survivors include his wife, Eleanor; his sons, Donald and Peter; and their families.

Carolyn Bullard, a longtime member of the faculty and former dean of the graduate school, died August 10, 2012, after a lengthy illness. Bullard played a major role in the development of the graduate school in her work as a faculty member, administrator, and educational leader.

Bullard majored in history at Reed College and then earned her master’s degree in the education of the deaf at Columbia University Teacher’s College and her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Washington. She began her career as a classroom teacher working with deaf and hearing-impaired children, first in New York, then in Seattle. She went on to teach on the faculties of the University of Washington and Northern Illinois University before joining the Lewis & Clark faculty in 1978.

When Bullard first came to Lewis & Clark, master’s degree programs were housed in the undergraduate college. In 1984, these programs were consolidated into a separate Graduate School of Professional Studies. A year later, Bullard was tapped to serve as the associate dean of the new school. In 1988, she became dean and served in that position until 1993.

Bullard lived a full and active life beyond Lewis & Clark. She was an avid horsewoman and a world traveler. A serious musician, she played viola with the Columbia Symphony, and upon her retirement from the college, she took up the cello. She was active with the City Club of Portland.

Survivors include her husband, Frank Mabrey; her daughters, Jennifer Lee Brooks and Andrea Teresa Scroggs; and three grandchildren.

Franya Berkman, assistant professor of music, died August 26, 2012, after a year-long struggle with cancer.

Berkman received her bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence in 1992. She went on to earn a master’s degree in 1999 and a Ph.D. in 2003 at Wesleyan University. A classically trained flutist, she explored and became adept in numerous performance traditions, including jazz, klezmer, Brazilian, and South Asian genres.

As a scholar, Franya pioneered an experimental approach to musical biography that integrates individual life history and musical expression. In 2010, she published her first book, Monument Eternal: The Music of Alice Coltrane (Wesleyan University Press), which integrated interviews with Coltrane along with an examination of her spiritual writing and music.

Berkman was well on her way toward a second book, this one centered on Obo Addy, the celebrated Ghanaian master drummer and a colleague at Lewis & Clark. She had made two trips to Ghana with Addy and assembled a rich and informative account of his life and musical development, based on extensive interviews with him as well as ethnographic work in Ghana. (As the Chronicle was going to press, we received news of Addy’s death on September 13. Watch for his obituary in our next issue.)

“Franya was a passionate and dynamic teacher, a dedicated mentor, and a beloved colleague,” says Katherine FitzGibbon, assistant professor of music. “She held her students to high expectations, helping them through both excellent teaching and gifted advising. Her unique mixture of joy, grounded energy, deep and broad intellect, and serene wisdom will be impossible to recreate.”

Survivors include her husband, Kris Wallsmith, and three young children, Sadie, Max, and Sonja.

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