Photo by Kanji Takeno
Belgrad to receive 2007 President’s Award for Distinguished Service
Political scientist will be honored next month
at 143rd Commencement Exercises
Eric Belgrad will receive the 27th President's Award for Distinguished Service to the University on Sunday, January 6, during 2 p.m. Commencement Exercises at the Towson Center.
In his capacities as teacher, scholar, administrator and leader, he has for decades been regarded as one of the university's premier role models.
His impressive professional attainments—as well as his modesty and unfailing collegiality—have earned him the esteem of all who have known him over the course of his 41 years on campus.
A Holocaust survivor, he emigrated from Belgium to the United States at age 13. Ten years later he earned an A.B. degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University, followed by an M.A. and a Ph.D. from that institution.
He joined TU’s faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor, receiving tenure and promotion to associate professor in 1969 and attaining the rank of professor in 1972. From the outset, he distinguished himself as a teacher and a scholar of international affairs and politics, teaching courses in U.S.-Western European relations, U.S.-Soviet or Russian relations, and political theory.
Scarcely a year after his arrival, he assisted in establishing the international studies major, an innovative, multidisciplinary program that remains one of the university's best-regarded and popular majors.
He also founded the Towson University Journal of International Affairs, a highly respected student-edited journal now in its 40th year. He pitches in personally, helping to maintain the journal’s exacting academic standards by working closely with its editorial staff.
His generosity extends to the print and electronic media, to which he regularly lends his expertise on U.S.-Russian or Middle-Eastern issues.
His passion for teaching is informed by scholarly rigor. Early in his career he sought to understand the most fundamental questions in international relations by examining the roots of the international system in the Roman legal tradition, a task requiring arduous research using difficult sources. He remains an active scholar, most recently co-editing The Politics of International Humanitarian Aid, published by Praeger in 1997.
His two-course sequence in political theory, which requires students to read the original works of Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Machiavelli and Marx (among others), is well attended, though he says he most enjoys POSC 101, Introduction to Political Science.
From 1981 to 2000, he chaired the Department of Political Science, where he earned admiration and respect for his even-handed leadership during a period of great growth and change. During this time he also served as co-chair of TU's Council of Chairpersons, as well as on many college and university committees.
Through his influence and teaching, many hundreds of TU students have launched careers in international affairs and related fields. Through his example, countless colleagues learned how a life in academe should be lived.
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