Bench Continues Memory of Professor Gordon T. Wallace, PhD
Family and alumni gathered on July 12, 2013 to dedicate a bench in the professor's memory.
In 1982, Gordon T. Wallace became the founding member of the Environmental Sciences Program at UMass Boston and established the Trace Element Analytical Facility. He "retired" in December 2009 with Professor Emeritus status.
Through his research he made a significant contribution to scientific understanding of the fate and effect of trace metals in the marine environment. His work provided tools for the scientifically sound management of aquatic resources.
During his tenure he taught a number of graduate courses, including Chemistry of Natural Waters and Isotope Geochemistry.
He was proudest of his mentorship of his graduate students' research and took great pride in their success after earning their UMass Boston degree.
Gordon was honored for his many service accomplishment by a University of Massachusetts Presidential Award for Service. He served as chairperson of the Hopkinton Board of Health and in that capacity enjoyed helping with several Boston Marathons.
The following poem was read at the dedication by Gordon's lifelong friend, Bruce Blanchette.
The bright awakening
of this summer day -- now
is discouraged and overcast
for the sun has blinded me to joy.
And on this long, long, long day
there is a knowing, my friend,
that overtakes and shatters me
and drives me inward.
This knowing of you
who to my mind is not yet missing
remains intact in deep reflection
so close yet far away.
So I find myself in the high sky
as thought o mediate the expanse
that spreads between us -- this
spiritual universe of knowing.
This is the universe we both explore
even when one of us, or the other,
is away from sight, as you are so out of reach.
Yet our muses of art and science
combine their voices
to challenge universal questions
concerning what is true.
Your science fails you.
Too, my art is of no use.
We now journey to a new reality
with only one phone.
I miss you and our tomorrow ...
please find a way to call
if you unearth those answers
we should need to know.
Bruce Blanchette 8/7/10