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In Memoriam

Barbara Abou-el-Haj, 71, former associate professor of art history – Abou-el-Haj earned her PhD from the University of California in 1975 and joined Harpur College faculty in 1985. She was active in the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Fernand Braudel Center until her retirement in 2014.

Peter Browne, 69, adjunct in music department – Browne earned his bachelor's in organ from Bard College, and his master's in organ performance from Binghamton University in 1980. Organist and choir director at Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church in Binghamton, he has appeared as conductor, accompanist and recitalist throughout the eastern United States and Canada, as well as in England and Wales.

Jacob "Jack" Fischthal, 98, former professor of biology at Binghamton – Fischthal, a graduate of the University of Michigan specializing in parasitology, taught at Binghamton for 38 years before retiring to North Carolina. While at Binghamton, Fischthal traveled to Africa where he taught and continued his research in parasitology. He received much acclaim for his discoveries of new species of parasites.

Paul Jordan, 75, former professor of music – Jordan attended Harvard University and Columbia University, and received graduate degrees from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt am Main, the Yale School of Music and the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. He joined Binghamton faculty in 1973 and directed the Collegium Musicum, conducted the University Orchestra, and designed the organ at the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts. He left Binghamton in 1995 and toured the world, performing at churches and cathedrals.

Wolfgang Paul Kappe, 84, professor emeritus of mathematics – Kappe enrolled at the Universität Frankfurt and relocated to the Mathematical Research Institute at Oberwolfach as administrator, completing his doctorate in 1961. He joined the mathematics faculty at Binghamton University in 1968 and was instrumental in developing the PhD program. Kappe retired in 2000 but kept in contact with the department by attending algebra seminars.

Ezra Laderman, 90, former professor of music – Laderman earned his bachelor's from Brooklyn College and his master's from Columbia University. He was a Binghamton faculty member from 1971 to 1982, and went on to the Yale School of Music as a composer-in-residence and later dean, retiring in 2013. His works included 12 string quartets, 11 concertos, and eight symphonies; six dramatic oratorios, seven operas, and music for two Academy Award-winning films.

Stuart O. Landry, Jr., 90, professor emeritus of biological sciences – Landry graduated from Harvard in 1949 after returning from the Army, then earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the University of Missouri and Louisiana State University before joining the faculty at Binghamton in 1963 and retiring in 1992. His field of interest was the study of hystricomorph rodents.

Bernard (Bernie) Levy, 87, professor emeritus of English – Levy earned his bachelor's from the University of Iowa, his masters from the University of Michigan and his PhD in medieval literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Levy joined the faculty in 1961 and retired in 1992. He was active in organizations and causes dedicated to civil rights and social advocacy for which he won the Citizen Action Phoenix Award, served on local boards and wrote frequently for local editorial pages and popular magazines.

Florence Margai, 52, associate dean of Harpur College, interim director of The Institute of Global Cultural Studies, and professor of geography – Margai earned her bachelor's in geography from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, and her master's and PhD in geography from Kent State University. Her research focus included food insecurity and childhood health outcomes, malaria morbidity and treatment in West Africa, toxic exposures and adverse health consequences. Memorial gifts may be made to the Binghamton University Foundation Memorial Account #10351. Note "in memory of Florence Margai."

Ali Mazrui, 81, Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies – Mazrui was recognized as one of the world's top 100 public intellectuals by Foreign Policy magazine and the British journal Prospect in 2005, Mazrui was also named one of the world's top 500 most influential Muslims in 2012 and 2013. He earned his bachelor's degree from Manchester University in England, his master's degree from Columbia University and his doctorate from Oxford University in England. Prior to joining the faculty at Binghamton in 1989, he taught and served as dean at Makerere University in Uganda, taught at the University of Michigan and was a visiting scholar at countless institutions. He was also the Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large Emeritus and senior scholar in Africana Studies at Cornell University.

Bruce McDuffie, 93, former professor of chemistry – McDuffie earned his PhD from Princeton University and taught analytical chemistry at Emory University and Washington and Jefferson College before joining the faculty at Binghamton University in 1958. McDuffie made international headlines in 1970 when, testing canned tuna, he discovered high levels of methyl mercury in tuna fish and, subsequently, in swordfish. He remained active in environmental studies and chemistry until his retirement in 1988.

Jean Schmittau, Bartle professor of mathematics education in the Graduate School of Education – Schmittau earned her bachelor's and master's from Marquette University, and her PhD in educational psychology, cognitive development and mathematics from Cornell University. Schmittau came to Binghamton University in 1987 and became a Bartle Professor in 2014. She won the Award for Outstanding Service from the Research Council on Mathematics Learning in 1999 and 2007.

John David Walker, 83, former associate professor of English – Walker earned his bachelor's from Abilene Christian University, his master's from the University of Texas and his PhD specializing in 18th-century English literature from the University of Florida. Walker joined the faculty at Binghamton in 1964. After retiring in 1995, he participated in six of the University's London semester-abroad programs.



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Last Updated: 3/1/17