Presentation on theme: "By: Mary Neill Kyle & Blanche. William Clyde Devane Medals The William Clyde Devane Medal is the oldest and most prestigious award for exceptional instruction."— Presentation transcript:
William Clyde Devane Medals The William Clyde Devane Medal is the oldest and most prestigious award for exceptional instruction at Yale University. It has been conferred annually since 1966 by the Yale Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for outstanding scholarship and undergraduate teaching. Professor Dale Martin presenting the DeVane medal to Professor Wayne Meeks in 2004. The Devane Medal is awarded to a member of Phi Beta Kappa who has distinguished himself as a teacher of undergraduates in Yale College in his or her field.
DeVane Medal Continued The medal was named for William Clyde Devane who was dean of Yale University from 1938-1963. He was also the president of the Yale Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and former president of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.
William Clyde DeVane Professorship The William Clyde DeVane Professorship was established in 1969 with a grant from the Old Dominion Foundation. It honors William Clyde DeVane, a past dean of Yale by addressing his concern that undergraduate education not become excessively narrow and departmentalized.
Books A Browning Handbook Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1955 Higher Education in Twentieth Century America Harvard University Press, 1965 Browning’s Parleyings Russel, 1964
Phi Beta Kappa DeVane was a prestigious member of the Phi Beta Kappa Senate at Yale. Famous members of Phi Beta Kappa at Yale include but are not limited to George H. W. Bush, William Howard Taft, John C. Calhoun, Eli Whitney, and Samuel F. B. Morse. Each year, only ten to twelve people are elected to Phi Beta Kappa, which makes it such an elite group. Election is determined upon a student’s grades and also requires the person to have completed four terms of course work in Yale and had to have completed at least eighteen course credits. Phi Beta Kappa is a society of ideas and scholars and it is an institution that parallels the mission as Yale students to wholeheartedly seek an existence of “light and truth.” Phi Beta Kappa is the Nation’s Oldest Academic Honors Society founded December 7, 1776.
DeVane and WWII William Clyde DeVane was considered the voice of liberal education during WWII. Even during the war, DeVane thought it would be wrong to abandon the liberal arts and so he strengthened a capacity for abstract thought.
DeVane’s History DeVane came to Yale from Greenville, originally a transfer from Furman University during WWI. He taught draftees how to ask for ham in eggs in French, which led him to understand the value of leisure and of privacy which were both associated with university life. In the year after WWI, DeVane shared a writing course with Phillip Barry, Stephen Vincent Benet, Archibald MacLeish, Thornton Wilder, Henry Luce, Briton Hadden, Walter Millis, and Wilmarth Lewis, as distinguished a group as was ever assembled in such a seminar seen at Yale.
Interview William Clyde DeVane (1898-1965), in whose memory awards are being presented tonight to two distinguished members of the Yale faculty, was Emily Sanford Professor of English and Dean of Yale College. In that office, according to a colleague, “he served with a rare combination of firmness, good nature, and endless patience for twenty- five years,” from 1939 until 1963. Dean DeVane was born in Savannah, Georgia, and earned both the Bachelor of Arts degree (in 1920) and his PhD in English (in 1926) at Yale. He wrote his dissertation on the poetry of Robert Browning, and his scholarly interests and publications throughout his career concentrated on nineteenth century English literature, including studies of Tennyson and Charlotte Bronte. He taught for eight years as instructor and assistant professor in the English department at Yale before moving to Cornell, where he held the Goldwyn Smith Professorship of England and served as chairman of the department. In 1938, he was recalled to Yale to assume the deanship, in which position he remained for the rest of his career. We received this biography from Clare Schlegel, a member of the Yale Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Interview Cont.. In addition to his service to undergraduate education, he was literary editor of The Yale Review and a governor of the Yale University Press. Among his many contributions to the New Haven community, he was President of the Board of Foote School and also of the Prospect Hill School. Nationally, he was elected chairman of the American Council of Learned Societies and president of the Academic Deans of America. He held the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. Dean DeVane was the recipient of many honors and awards, including thirteen honorary degrees, but he had special regard for his membership in Phi Beta Kappa, to which he had been elected at Yale in 1920. He served as member, chapter officer, senator and, from 1961 to 1964, as president of the national Phi Beta Kappa Society. In 1966, the membership of the Alpha of Connecticut chapter established this award in recognition of Dean DeVane’s leadership in the field of undergraduate education and his personal dedication to teaching and scholarship. Two medals are presented annually: one to an emeritus member of the faculty and one to a current member with no fewer than five years of service on the faculty.
DeVane at Yale It was said that “everything he (DeVane) was asked to do he looked on as an opportunity.” He rarely said no to an invitation or assignment because he liked the pace of consecutive challenges. However, having so much power during the war was not what he wanted, and he never really wished for it.
DeVane at GHS During high school, he was a member of the basketball team, chess team, and football team. He led his basketball team to victory by sinking 21 consecutive foul shots at a game. His involvement in GHS teams taught him how to stay composed under times of pressure.