Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In memory of Bill Babcock

I learned this afternoon that Bill Babcock, an extraordinary colleague and mentor, died last month. I met Bill when we read exams on the Clemson University campus over 20 years ago. I was a rookie, he was the guy who helped me learn the ropes. We worked together at reading tables several times after that.

He was a gentleman and a scholar in the very best senses of those words. He was also a great teacher to those of us who worked with him.

About the time we both retired, he and his wife Julie, trekked across Jacksonville to take photos of a house my parents rented when my dad was stationed at Jacksonville Naval Air Station during World War II. The kindness of their gesture would not be surprising to those of us who knew Bill.

In Memory of William Nathaniel Babcock March 23, 1934 - December 19, 2012

Bill Babcock
William Nathaniel "Bill" Babcock passed away peacefully on December 19, 2012 after an extended illness.

Bill was born in Wytheville, Virginia on March 23, 1934 to Kate Anderson Babcock and Mark Babcock.

He grew up in Daytona Beach, Florida.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Julie Cheves Babcock, his son Mark William Babcock (Laura) and grandchildren Sophie, Eva and Max, of Madrid, Spain, and his brother James M Babcock (Anita) of Tampa.

Bill graduated from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach in 1953 and served in the US Marine Corps before attending the University of Florida, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1960 and a Master of Education in 1966.

After graduation, Bill became an educator, teaching for more than 47 years, including 41 years at The Bolles School.

Bill began his career at Bolles in 1966 and retired in 2007. He taught many subjects during his tenure at Bolles – including history, economics, and AP levels of US and comparative government. He served as chairman of the Social Studies Department until 1997 and was then named chair emeritus. As Director of Student Activities, Bill was also an instrumental mentor and inspiration to students in the National Honor Society and the Student Council. He was the first person to be named The Henrietta Donovan Chair of American Studies and was one of four teachers citywide selected for the Gladys Prior Award for Career Teaching Excellence in 2002.

In addition to his work at Bolles, Bill served the Advanced Placement Program of the College Board as a Grader, Table Leader, and Consultant in the subject of Comparative Government from 1988 to 2005... 


At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Ethel Wood said...

I am deeply saddened to hear of Bill's death. He was truly one of the "greats" of AP Comparative Government, not to mention one of my very favorite people at the readings for many years. I too first met him at Clemson, sharing sitings of the Clemson tiger and my very first gator bites. No one was kinder, wiser, gentler, or more fun! We all owe Bill a huge debt of gratitude for his many contributions in shaping the field of AP Comparative Government and Politics.
Ethel Wood


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