In Memoriam

Niagara Mourns Two Longtime Professors

Joseph J. Forrester III, a chemistry professor at Niagara University, passed away on Feb. 20, 2013. He was 85.

Forrester joined Niagara University in 1960 as a faculty member in the chemistry department, where he developed a reputation as a professor with a never-wavering commitment to excellence. During his 44-year tenure at Niagara, he mentored countless students in the classroom and as a member of the Pre-Health Professional Committee. Many of these students went on to establish successful careers as doctors, dentists, and medical professionals in other health-related fields. In 1986, he served as acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and was the director of the NU Honors Program from 1991-1995. He retired in 2004.

He was honored twice by the College of Arts and Sciences; in 1986, he received its teacher recognition award, and in 2003, he was the recipient of its Excellence in Service Award.

Off campus, Forrester embodied Niagara’s Vincentian values through his work with The Consortium of the Niagara Frontier, a joint undertaking by Niagara, Canisius and Daemen colleges that offered college-level courses and degrees to prison inmates. Believing that everyone deserved an education, Forrester joined the consortium at its founding in 1975 and spent the next 25 years as a volunteer, challenging his students to reach beyond their current limitations and develop their potential. Many of these former students would visit him in his office in DePaul Hall when they were released to thank him for teaching them. In 1999, he was chosen by the consortium’s students and faculty to receive the Reverend Thomas A. McHugh Distinguished Faculty Award in recognition of his commitment and dedication.

Forrester also touched hundreds of lives through his support of the American Red Cross, for which he donated more than 15 gallons of blood.

Marty Troia, former secretary in the chemistry department, remembers Forrester as a “brilliant educator and a wonderfully kind and generous human being” who enjoyed sharing stories about his family. Like many of his former students, Troia credits Forrester with her academic and career success. “He was the person most responsible for me pursuing a college degree. I will forever be grateful to him for his belief in my intellectual ability and inspiring me to go for my dream of a college degree.”

Dr. Nancy McGlen, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, notes that Forrester set an example that she follows to this day. "Joe Forrester was committed to his students and to Niagara University. He served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences after Father Levesque, and his 'walk around' style to talk to faculty to find out what was happening was a model I have tried to follow as dean."

Dr. Robert Greene, '75,'77, chair of the biology department, was a student in Forrester's organic chemistry class. “He was a teacher you could rely on and always willing to help students with this difficult subject," he recalls. "Later, I was fortunate enough to have Joe as a colleague and it was in part his collegial approach to his teaching of science that helped to formulate major components of my developing career as a biology professor. His insights into the inter-personal workings of the sciences at Niagara University helped me to achieve success in both my teaching and my research. He will always have a warm fond spot in my heart."

"Joe’s easy going approach to life was amazing," notes Connie Guthrie Greene, office coordinator in the biochemistry, chemistry, physics and biology departments. "He could take the stress out of a working day with his smile and wit. He always had a joke to brighten your day. He was always very encouraging and supportive; making it a true pleasure to work for him."

Forrester is survived by his wife, Margaret A. “Peg” Forrester; his children, Raymond Forrester, Dr. Maureen Finney, ’91, and Dr. Joseph Forrester IV, ’92; six grandchildren; his brother, Fredric Forrester; and eleven nieces and nephews.

Dorothy Gould, M.S.Ed.’66, longtime chair of the English department at Niagara University, passed away on Nov. 16, 2012, at the age of 83.

Dorothy loved life. We will miss her, her chats about her children and grandchildren, her energy and enthusiasm, and the twinkle in her eye -- always the perfect lady, and always fully immersed and engaged in everything she did.

Dr. Laurence Boxer, professor of computer and information sciences, recalls that Dorothy was the first woman to be president of Temple Beth Israel, following in the steps of her father, Gene Lunken, and her brother, Paul Lunken. At Temple events, she was often in the center of an extended family, with her husband, Lester, and her own children, Laurie Cohen Binder, ’76, Jeffrey A. Cohen, ’81, Keith Cohen, and Wendy Kohlenberg. She was very proud of the link between the Jewish community and NU, exemplified by Marcus Brown's generous gift in 1882, which is honored by a plaque in Gallagher Center. Indeed, to know Dorothy was to be part of her family, for she inquired of everyone’s welfare, encouraged everyone’s success, and believed the best of each person with whom she came into contact.

With warmth, style, and an insistence on good public speaking skills, Dorothy served as everything from president, to board member, to "go-to person" for the Highland Avenue Redevelopment Plan, Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem), the Hebrew Benevolent Loan Association, the Bay Beach Home Owners Association, Beth Israel's Sisterhood, and the Niagara Falls Chapter of Hadassah. She gave generously of her advice and skills, always promoting reading, the life of the mind, and the ability of each person to find his or her God-given gifts.

Dr. William Martin, associate professor of English, recalls that both he and Dorothy were morning people, arriving on campus well before 8 a.m. They would often stop to chat about Dorothy's children and grandchildren, and their many accomplishments and new ventures, or about Niagara's latest theatre production or basketball game. Dorothy was one of the Purple Eagles' most avid fans, a season-ticket holder who rarely missed a home game, and who was sought out by some of NU's most illustrious players, like Calvin Murphy, ’70, and Marshall Wingate, ’72, both on the courts and in the classroom. When she retired from Niagara after 37 years, the basketball team retired number 37 from their lineup of jerseys and gave Dorothy her very own jersey.

Dorothy’s love of sports was matched by her passion for the theatre. On campus, she performed in a number of University Players productions, including Cocktail Party, a faculty-one-act play; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Martha); The Diary of Anne Frank (Mrs. Van Doam); and The Chalk Garden (Ativia). Off campus, Dorothy was well-known in thespian circles as well, and played the leading role in the Niagara Falls Little Theatre production of the Taming of the Shrew.

Dr. Martin also notes that "we meet remarkably few people whose example makes us better human beings. Dorothy Gould was one of those persons. I recall one of our morning conversations when she told me, 'If you want to do good for someone and more than two people know about it, you are doing it for the wrong reason.' I have never forgotten her words, and I can only imagine the number of persons Dorothy might have helped over the course of her lifetime."

However, if Dorothy was one of the two people who knew about your good deeds, others were sure to hear of them shortly -- good news traveled fast when Dorothy got hold of it.

Dr. Rita Pollard, adjunct professor of English, Dr. Nancy McGlen, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and others observed the breadth of Dorothy Gould's interests and activities: bowling, tennis, quilting, knitting, crocheting, baking, spending summers at her lake home in Canada, cruising, dancing at various university galas and fundraisers, and hosting inductions for Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. Dr. Pollard writes that Dorothy "loved her students. I recall how thrilled she was when the Sigma Tau Delta students presented her with a purple and white quilt on the occasion of her retirement. She admired the design and stitching and promised to hang it in her home in Niagara Falls. I also recall the wonderful kugel she baked for one of the honor society's brunches. I have that kugel recipe now, in Dorothy's handwriting, tucked between the pages of my favorite cookbook. Dorothy was simply full of life."

The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, Niagara’s president, said of his good friend, ““Dorothy Gould was a Niagara person through and through. Even though she frequently wore purple, she more importantly gave her heart over to Niagara University.

“Dorothy was a wonderful member of the faculty and family of Niagara University, and she taught us much about how to live one’s life well,” he continued. “Thank you, Dorothy, and thanks to your wonderful family, who so generously shared you with us for so many years.”

Dorothy retired in 2003. In 2009, the English department instituted a new award, named for two of the faculty most active in service: the Gould-Pollard Award for Service to the Department. The award is not offered every year; rather, it is bestowed upon students whose collegiality, service and academic achievement are extraordinary.

Dorothy Gould will be remembered for many years as someone who made Niagara University what it is today.