In a clear signal of its commitment to younger faculty, and in honor of a beloved teacher, Sarah Lawrence College announces the establishment of the endowed Hyman H. Kleinman Fellowship in the Humanities, the first fellowship of its kind at the College.
The Hyman H. Kleinman Fellowship is an important step toward preserving and improving the exceptional quality of younger scholars who teach at the College. The rotating Fellowship will be awarded for 3-5 years to an outstanding junior faculty member in the humanities, just after appointment to tenure.
The Fellowship was established in honor of faculty member emeritus Hyman H. Kleinman of Peekskill, by Ella Foshay, a '69 alumna of the College, who recently studied with him in a literature course taught under the auspices of the Friends of the Sarah Lawrence Library. For Foshay, and for many of his current and former students, Kleinman epitomizes the best of all possible teachers. In making her gift, Foshay chose "to honor an outstanding teacher whose humanity, wisdom and love of teaching have had a profound impact on hundreds of students, young and old, during a teaching lifetime spanning more than five decades."
For two decades, ending in 1984, Kleinman taught literature at Sarah Lawrence. Known to be sage, humane and compassionate, he was respected by colleagues and cherished by students not only for his intellect and appreciation of literature, but also for the special way he directly engaged and inspired each of his students to learn. To make literature more accessible and memorable, Kleinman often lectured without notes and quoted lengthy, verbatim passages from the poems and prose fiction being studied. "I never considered myself an educator," he once reflected. "I prefer to see myself as a teacher, one who conveys knowledge and, through effort, faith, and pride, has an impact on the lives of students."
Foshay first met Kleinman in 1994, when she returned to Sarah Lawrence to teach American Art as holder of the Noble Foundation Chair in Art and Cultural History. At the time, Kleinman was coincidentally finishing the semester for a faculty member who had died. Intrigued by his graciousness and breadth of knowledge, and hearing that he was now teaching literature in local community centers, Foshay resolved to study with him. During the spring of 1998 she received her chance, enrolling in the literature course he was teaching for the Friends of the Library.
Kleinman will give a lecture series as part of the Friends of the Library spring program for members. "Back on Native Ground: The Short Fiction of Bernard Malamud" will begin Monday, April 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the Library Pillow Room, and continue every Monday through May.
The Friends of The Sarah Lawrence Library is a non-profit membership organization that provides the library with funds for acquisitions and archival support. Membership benefits include borrowing privileges from the library's holdings, free mini-courses by Sarah Lawrence faculty, invitations to visiting author's programs, as well as concerts and special events. For more information on Kleinman's lecture series and the Friends of The Library, please call (914) 395-2472.