Charles A. Porter
Professor of French
Chuck Porter, B.A., M.A. Northwestern University, Ph.D. Yale University, faculty member at Yale since 1960 and scholar of 18th, 19th century and most recently 20th century French Literature: you are known in the scholarly world for your studies of the novelists Retif de la Bretonne and Chateaubriand, and as special editor of numerous excellent and stimulating issues of Yale French Studies. In the University, however, you are known simply as citizen extraordinaire. You have served your department in every conceivable way: as Director of Undergraduate Studies; as Director of Graduate Studies (twice); and as a most loyal, organized, and efficient Chair. In the wider University you have been not only Director of the Summer Language Institute but the founding father of Yale Summer and Special Programs, inventing virtually out of whole cloth a complete summer program which, in its active academic and residential life, provides all the delights and dilemmas of a small university.
Teacher of generations of students at all levels, you have been as well known for your clear, direct, and insightful teaching in Yale’s famous program of Directed Studies as in a myriad of courses in novels and poetry in your own department. Director for four years of the Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies, your commitment has helped show the way in this area. Excellent cook and bon vivant, traveler to all corners of the world, at your retirement dinner the graduate students in French were inspired to appreciation of you in verse and song. Now the Yale faculty joins that chorus and in thanks for your contributions sends you off with a collective cheer of “Bien Fait!” and “Bravo.”
Tribute Editor: Penelope Laurans