After 46 years at CMC, Professor Ward Elliott will retire from teaching in May 2014. Elliott, the Burnet C. Wohlford Professor of American Political Institutions, has been a professor at CMC since 1968 – then, Claremont Men’s College – and has taught the Politics portion of the Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE) major curriculum since 1986, along with other government courses at CMC.
In addition to Professor Elliott’s large role in CMC’s PPE program and Government department, Elliott’s tenure at CMC has also included the successful promotion of the Truman Scholarship program to CMC students and coaching the Claremont Rugby Team. Additionally, he has written over 40 pages of CMC history, and lists “Putting CMC on the map” as one of his foremost causes on his webpage.
Outside of CMC, Elliott has been an influential voice in smog policy in Southern California. Elliott was President of the Coalition for Clean Air between 1980 and 1986, and is credited with creating the concept of High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes.
Aside from his work researching and teaching in government, Elliott’s expertise also includes extensive research regarding the works of William Shakespeare. Founder of the Claremont Shakespeare Clinic, of which he was the co-advisor from 1987 to 1994, Elliott has co-authored multiple publications with fellow CMC professor Robert Valenza examining Shakespeare’s supposed authorship of the works accredited to him.
In emails to his advisees as well as PPE students and alumni, Elliott announced this month that he will take a sabbatical next fall and return for the Spring 2014 semester to teach PPE Politics for the last time. Regarding his upcoming retirement, Elliott wrote in one email that he is getting “ready to step down next year with some very happy memories.” Another of his emails also stated that he has been allowed to retain his office in the Kravis Center for a period of three years following his retirement. “I expect to be around many a late pm,” Elliott wrote to advisees, explaining that he will continue to be accessible on campus.
Looking towards the future of the PPE program after his retirement, Professor Elliott suggested that his successor as PPE’s professor of the Politics segment “will most likely be my colleague, George Thomas,” wrote Elliott. Thomas is currently an Associate Professor of Government at CMC, whose expertise is in American constitutionalism.