Professors, Chaplains, and a VP Depart


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David Firmage (biology and environmental studies), above, and Tina Wentzel (theater and dance), below, work with students. Both retired at the end of the academic year after a combined 72 years of service.

Two long-serving members of the faculty, Clara C. Piper Professor of Environmental Studies David Firmage and Adjunct Professor of Theater and Dance Christine (Tina) Wentzel, retired from teaching this year. Also retiring are two Colby chaplains, Rabbi Raymond Krinsky and Rev. Ronald Morrell, and a vice president announced his resignation.

Wentzel started at Colby in 1973, Firmage in 1975.

President William D. Adams credited Firmage as one of the founders of Colby’s nationally recognized Environmental Studies Program and as a cofounder of the successful Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium, begun in 2000. Firmage studies plant reproductive biology and plant ecology, and he has worked with students for many years on watershed analysis aimed at improving water quality in central Maine lakes.

Wentzel was feted with an elaborate farewell celebration in Strider Theater in April, with the program including video from her dance and creative movement performances through the decades and a live performance by former student Heidi Henderson ’83. At the retirement dinner in May, Adams said, “Tina has taught students how to dance and how to think about dance,” adding that she often tested their limits.


Rev. Morrell, the Protestant chaplain, and Rabbi Krinsky, the Jewish chaplain, both started official roles on campus in 1984. The Rabbi will continue to teach Hebrew in the coming academic year.

In other departures, Richard A. Ammons, vice president for college relations, announced that he was leaving Colby to become associate dean for development and alumni relations at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke. Noel James, director of the Pugh Center and associate dean of students for multicultural affairs, married to Ammons, also is leaving. —S.B.C.

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