Other Eckered founders are still alive

Published January 27, 2007

Dr. William C. Wilbur knows something about history. He taught it for 39 years, first at Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania and later at Florida Presbyterian College, now known as Eckerd College.

So he spoke up when he became aware that a Friday story in the Times referred to Dr. Kenneth Keeton as Eckerd's "last living founding faculty member."

Wilbur, an emeritus professor who retired in 1983, pointed out that he was not alone among survivors of the original faculty, which formed in 1960.

Others include Dr. Clark Bouwman, professor emeritus of sociology and a former dean, and Dr. J. Thomas West, professor emeritus of psychology and human development, who still teaches older students in the school's Program for Experienced Learners.

West actually predated the original class, serving as a recruiter for the new school, Wilbur said.

Eckerd spokeswoman Alizza Punzalan-Hall said the school has confirmed that six other founding faculty members are still living.

They are Dennis E. Anderson, Betty Rae Crane, William Fletcher Harrison Jr., Creighton Peden, Dexter Squibb and Jack C. Wilson.

"None of these folks were named faculty emeriti, and we have generally lost touch with them," she said.

"I feel sorry about Ken Keeton," Wilbur said. "He was an interesting and wonderful person."

Dr. Keeton, 79, who retired from Eckerd in 1995, died Wednesday (Jan. 24, 2007) at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa.