Donning academic regalia, President Sharon Herzberger and Vice President of Academic Affairs Darrin Good presided over the official induction of Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies Sal Johnston as the inaugural C. Wright Mills Chair in Sociology.
The chair was created through the generosity of the late Professor Emeritus Les Howard ’62.
“By endowing this chair, Les had done something extraordinary – through this legacy, in perpetuity, he will convene the best and brightest minds to focus on something he found very important,” said Herzberger during the ceremony. “He saw sociology as a discipline that must advocate for public political engagement and social responsibility over disinterested observation and theory, and he wanted the chair holder to embody this belief.”
During his remarks, Johnston thanked Howard for his dedication to students and teaching social justice.
“Les Howard’s practice of sociology changed the lives of countless students who rode the bus through Los Angeles in January, collaborated on projects with community partners, met him for coffee in uptown, or convened for first-year mentoring meetings in his living room,” said Johnston. “This chair, and his legacy, is designed to sustain our commitment to doing the Quakerly work of social justice, building community, and nurturing the light of learning.”