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Department of Political Science
celebrates 50th anniversary
April 27, 1998

The political science department held its 50th anniversary celebration April 18 at the Old State House in Hartford. President Philip E. Austin introduced the program of speakers, with graduates spanning the department's history and representing various different career paths.

Representing the first class to graduate with political science degrees was Louis Gerson (B.A. '48). After earning his undergraduate degree, Gerson earned a Ph.D. from Yale, wrote many scholarly books, received Rockefeller, Fulbright, and many other prestigious fellowships, served as the fourth department head (1967-1977), and earned the UConn Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award. The second speaker, Joseph Polisi (B.A. '69), followed a distinguished career in music, culminating in his current position as president of the world-renowned Juilliard School of Music. The third alumni speaker was Sam Gejdenson (B.A. '70). Soon after graduation, he was elected as state legislator and then, in 1980, was elected to Congress as the member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the 2nd District of Connecticut. He is now the second ranking minority member of the House International Relations Committee.

The final speaker was Karissa Walsh (B.A., M.A. '94). A former University Scholar, Walsh was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, nominated for a Rhodes Fellowship, and graduated summa cum laude. She is now a communications and technology foreign aid program specialist for International Executive Service Corps of Stamford.