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Date: Dec 14, 2011
Hofstra Saddened by Recent Loss of Distinguished Professors
This past fall semester, Hofstra was saddened by the loss of several professors who had a great impact on the departments in which they served.
William M. Dobriner, professor of sociology (1950-1971), passed away on October 8 at the age of 89. He also served as chair of Hofstra’s Department of Sociology (1959-1961 and 1966-1969) and director of the graduate program in social sciences (1961-1965). Dr. Dobriner was a World War II veteran and used the post-war GI Bill to earn his B.A. from Hofstra in 1948. Dr. Dobriner’s areas of expertise were sociological theory and social class, particularly related to the new suburbs thriving on Long Island in the 1950s and 60s. He was the author of the books, Class in Suburbia, Social Structures and Systems, and The Suburban Community, all of which focused on the growth patterns of Long Island, NY. In addition to teaching at Hofstra, Dr. Dobriner also taught at the City College of New York, the University of Vermont and Lafayette College. Following his retirement from Lafayette College in 1988, Dr. Dobriner wrote adventure novels under the pen name of Frank J. Kenmore which followed the spy career of college professor Colin Smallpiece, a hero of Indiana Jones proportions.
Hyman Enzer, professor emeritus of sociology, passed away on December 7. Dr. Enzer first came to Hofstra in 1950 as an assistant professor of English and journalism and later became the director of the journalism program. He joined the Department of Sociology in 1958, and from 1963-1968 was the director of the graduate program in Social Sciences. Dr. Enzer served as chair of the Department of Sociology from 1967 to 1973, and again from 1983 to 1985. In 1979 became the director of the District 37 Applied Social Science Program. In 1984 he helped establish the Hofstra University Center for Community Studies in the Village of Hempstead. He regularly conducted programs in community libraries. Dr. Enzer was awarded the title of professor emeritus in 1986 upon his retirement. He continued to teach part time at Hofstra until 1992. He co-edited the 1999 book Anne Frank: Reflections on Her Life and Legacy (University of Illinois Press). In 2010 Dr. Enzer received the “Spirit of Anne Frank Award” for his “outstanding commitments to take a stand against discrimination of all kinds.”
Paul F. Harper, professor emeritus of political science, passed away on November 27 in York, Pennsylvania. Dr. Harper taught comparative politics for 31 years at Hofstra and served as chairman of the political science department for 21 years. He oversaw the development of the department’s faculty, curriculum and programs. He directed the John F. Kennedy presidential conference and chaired the Phi Beta Kappa chapter selection committee. He retired from Hofstra in 1997 and spent the past 10 years in Lancaster and York counties, in his native Pennsylvania. He served on the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of York County and was a member of the Democratic State Committee.
Mary Elizabeth Gilbert Ligon, professor emerita of counselor education, passed away in November. Known to her colleagues over the years as “Betty,” Professor Ligon taught in the School of Education from 1956 until her retirement in 1982. Between 1974-1979, she developed and organized the present counseling program within the School of Education at Hofstra University and served as chairperson for the Departments of Counselor Education and Educational Psychology. She was influential in merging these two departments under the C.P.R.E. department, and also introduced new programs in creative arts therapy, family counseling, group facilitation, and intern placements. Professor Ligon was president of Long Island Personnel and Guidance Association; president, Long Island Counselor Association; senator, NYSPGA; served on the board of directors of the Lisle International Fellowship and the Freeport Community Family Services.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 12,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, engineering, communication, education, health and human services, honors studies, a School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.