A Clarkson Mosaic - page 208

Alumni Association.
The Alumni Association reorganized itself and appointed Bill Farrisee as
its first full-time secretary. In the fall, he created and edited the &iClarkson &iTech &iAlumnus
magazine. Its first issue listed 20 Clarkson men killed in the war so far, and printed letters from
George Maclean '42, Gordon (Stubby) Baker '27, Paul Garvey '42, and Clarke Joy '29
(president of the Alumni Association) among many others who were on active duty with the
Armed Forces across the world.
William J. Lowe.
A familiar sight on the Clarkson campus for many years, William J. Lowe,
Jr., and his bicycle had come to Clarkson in 1944 as the fifth officer to command the ROTC
contingent on campus since it began in 1936. Leaving active duty in the Army in November
1945, Bill agreed to join the Clarkson faculty as associate professor of liberal studies, and in
January 1946, following his discharge from the Army, he became professor and chairman of the
liberal studies department.
He soon developed a well-deserved reputation as a fine teacher. He was awarded the
first Excellent Teaching Award in 1970. His sense of humor stood him in good stead. For
example, he told a class that the distinction between irony and satire could be made clear by his
own receding hairline. He said, "If you came into the room and greeted me by saying `Hi,
Curly,'-that would be irony. On the other hand, if you meet me and say, `Hi, Baldy,'-that would
be satire."
Born in Newark, N.J., in 1909, Bill grew up in northern New Jersey. When he was 14 he
had a seven-mile paper route with 86 customers. Between 14 and 16, he worked on a farm for
25 cents an hour. Graduating from Princeton, N.J., High School in 1927, he entered Rutgers
University from which he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree with honors in 1931. That
same year, he received his commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Reserves. He
married Sarah Corson-better known as Sally-in 1934, the same year he received his master of
arts degree from Rutgers, and began work on his doctorate at Penn State that same year. His
teaching experience included five years at Princeton High School, and six at Landsdowne High
(Pennsylvania) teaching English and journalism and coaching soccer and track. When he was
called to active duty in the Army in 1942, he was assigned as assistant professor of military
science at Rutgers, and from 1943 to 1944, he was commandant at Pratt Institute.
He and "Daddy" Reynolds revived the
after the war. ("Daddy" had been the
original faculty advisor when the
began in 1920.) Bill recalled that James Parslow,
10-'47 was the first post-war editor, and that others on the senior board were Nelson Courtright,
2-'48, assistant editor; John E. Bohlander, 6-'47, business manager; and Michael Bellavia, 6-'47,
managing editor. .i3
[Note. The two-number dates indicate the month and year of graduation: 10-'47 means October 1947, 2-
'48 means February 1948, and 6-'47 means June 1947.]
Bill's famous trademark, the old battered bicycle he rode to and from his home on Grant
Street, had an interesting history. Bill got that while he was onactive duty with the Army. He
lived a mile from the air base where he was
stationed. He could not get ration stamps for
gasoline so he picked up the bicycle and has kept it ever since.
He resigned from the chair in 1949 and turned the department over to Dr. Donald
Stillman, the new chairman of the newly created liberal studies department. Bill left teaching in
1967 to serve as Dean of Students until his retirement from the College in 1974.
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