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Eleanor Retirement Guestbook

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Professor Eleanor Willemsen's Retirement Guest Book

Thursday, Apr. 10, 2014
Prof. Willemsen

After 40 years of distinguished teaching and service here at SCU, with special appreciation for her dedication to the development and growth of the the Psychology Department, Prof. Willemsen is retiring and setting off to new adventures. We would like to invite all faculty, staff, students and alumni to post a note to Eleanor and let her know how much she has brought to SCU and how much she will be missed. 

Comments Comments

Tom Plante said on Apr 14, 2014
Eleanor is one of my heros! A wonderful colleague, thoughtful and caring person, and friend. She well embodies the SCU 3 C's for sure. I have learned much from her in my 20 years at SCU and appreciate all that she has offered to students, faculty, staff, and the community. She is an inspiration in so many way both personal and professional! It is hard to image a SCU psychology department without her.
Barbara Burns said on Apr 15, 2014
Eleanor Willemsen is the key reason as to why I am here at Santa Clara University. On my interview in 2012, while discussing her vision for the Liberal Studies Program at SCU and the possibilities she saw for students who want to work with children and families, I saw the light that she shines for children and families. I went right home to pack my bags to move to California. Eleanor embodies fearlessness in tackling sticky (and sometimes discouraging)issues that come with working with complex systems that are designed to support and help children. She has inspired me to follow in her footsteps and has shown me how to be even bolder and dream even bigger as a person, child psychologist, and caring member of society. I cannot say enough about her kind and warm support to me and to all of her colleagues in Liberal Studies. Short and simple--We love Eleanor Willemsen! It is an honor to work with her at SCU. She has made SCU a more compassionate place for children and families and she has created an inspiring legacy. With gratitude, Barb
Kieran Sullivan said on Apr 15, 2014
I can't imagine this place without her! I think I am not alone in saying that she has been instrumental in my professional and personal development. I will be forever grateful for her generosity in helping a new and anxious assistant professor to get through the tenure process. She has also been my go-to person for questions about my children's development and has given me many great tips along the way. She has been selfless to a fault and countless faculty, staff and students are in debt to her. Thanks so much Eleanor.
Denise Carmody said on Apr 16, 2014
Eleanor, enjoy your well-deserved retirement. I hope your great adventures lead you to discover more and more beauty. Thank you for all you have done for our students and for the Santa Clara community.
adelbecq said on Apr 17, 2014
I have learned much from your wisdom and insight over our years together in IFF. We are a better community because of your presence and I am just one of so many who wish to express deep gratitude.
Atom Yee said on Apr 17, 2014
Eleanor, you are a professor's professor and role model exemplar! I can't think of anyone who is more admired and respected on campus as you. The College is deeply grateful for all you've done to make Santa Clara a better place. We are going to miss you. Best wishes for your future endeavors, and definitely keep in touch.
Carol Ann Gittens said on Apr 18, 2014
Eleanor - thank you for being such an incredible mentor and friend over the years! I am grateful for your leadership of the Liberal Studies Program and for showing us that a teacher-scholar-community activist/advocate is a reachable goal. You are an inspiration and have set the bar very high for the rest of us to strive toward. I look forward to hearing about your activities and adventures in the years to come.
Lucia Gilbert said on Apr 21, 2014
The Eleanor Willemsen "legend" is well known at SCU! You have served on nearly every important campus committee and have influenced a number of important initiatives through your many years of service to the institution. You have done so with tact, kindness, and keen intelligence. I feel fortunate to have been your colleague these past few years and look forward to a continuing relationship in the future. Lucia
Kirsten Read said on Apr 27, 2014
I don't completely know where to begin, or how to write without saying too much, but I'll try.. Eleanor has been such an inspiration in my time here at Santa Clara. She has a forged a path through academia in a field we both care passionately about that I would dream to hike along. I've made up many an excuse when I see her in her office just to peek in and ask a "quick question" which usually turns into a nourishing and sustaining conversation on anything from statistics pedagogy, to child development, to getting my kids to play more outside.. all of which I am eager to hear more of. Eleanor is a quiet force, who will be missed, but who inspires all of us in ways she hardly realizes. I feel so lucky to have at least crossed her astounding path.
Janet Flammang said on Apr 29, 2014
Eleanor, I want to express my deepest respect and appreciation for all you have given to so many of us at Santa Clara. Thanks for being a role model for those of us who did not have many female faculty to emulate when we first arrived on campus. You combined wisdom and wit, a probing intelligence and a generosity of spirit, modeling all that is best and rewarding about university life. Thanks for all you have shared with us, and best wishes for a rewarding next chapter. Janet
Elizabeth (Beth) Kay, SCU alum said on Apr 29, 2014
Dr.Willemsen, you were a great professor and role model for the SCU community! I really enjoyed taking multiple classes from you. You brought a ton of great insight to each class. Thank you again and best of luck with the next chapter of your life!
Patti Simone said on May 14, 2014
Eleanor, you have always been an outstanding mentor for ways to engage students in teaching and research, a wonderful colleague with sage advice on stats, child development, legal issues, etc., and a true inspiration with your consistent high level of involvement at Santa Clara, the miles you've hiked and the places you've seen. You'll be missed!
Lisa Whitfield said on May 16, 2014
Eleanor--you were one of the first "faces of SCU" I encountered when I started teaching here six years ago. You couldn't have been more welcoming or collegial in sharing ideas about teaching. Over the past few years I have come to appreciate what a positive impact you have had and still have on the University as a whole, but especially the character of our department. Glad that you'll still be around and spending some of your astounding level of energy on us (in between weekend hiking trips, of course).
Kristin Kusanovich said on May 16, 2014
A poem for you Eleanor: Dream Deferred (Harlem) What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore? And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over? like a syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load. Or does it explode? - Langston Hughes You have been, are, and will be, the village. Thinking of all of the children and families with and for whom you have worked tirelessly - and then 40 years of your students learning to do the same for the benefit of the human family, encountering and countering deferred dreams one by one, day by day. It's tremendous, this life's work, and so are you. Blessings on your retirement.
Ruth cook said on May 17, 2014
Good for you! I hope you have a long and most enjoyable retirement. Your inspiration and service were appreciated by those of us who got to know you even a little bit. I am delighted to see that SCU might actually know how to treat someone who has given so much service. Maybe something is changing for the better.
Bob Senkewicz said on May 18, 2014
Eleanor, You have made so many wonderful contributions to SCU, on so many different levels, during the many years you have graced our campus. But probably the greatest is the number of lives of faculty and students and staff you have enriched. I count myself fortunate to be among them. Best wishes on your well-deserved retirement!
eelrod said on May 18, 2014
What a gift you have been to so many of us, Eleanor! You gave the Faculty Senate Professor talk at the first faculty celebration I attended after I was hired. Then, as now, you were inspiring. I have appreciated your significant work for children and families, your powerful voice on key challenges and institutional change, your passionate commitment to our students, your honesty and calm perseverance, and your deep kindness and humor. Thanks for showing us how to do it. I wish you all good things in your next chapter.
Maria Elena said on May 19, 2014
Dr. Willemsen, thank you for all the years of leadership and friendship to the SCU community. I will always remember your quiet strength both in and out of the classroom. You will missed. I want to personally thank you for the comfort and support you have so generously offered me. May you continue your adventures!
therese said on May 19, 2014
Dr. Willemsen, I learned so much from you. Your teaching style resonated so well with me. Thank you for your years of service and leadership. Enjoy your new life adventures. Therese Thilgen, Class of 79'.
RJ P., c/o 2001 said on May 19, 2014
Many thanks, Dr. Willemsen, for your service and education provided to Santa Clara University's Psychology department. Cheers to new adventures!
Chris Curry Carlyle , '80 said on May 19, 2014
Congrats on your retirement! Eleanor was a great teacher with a calm and kind spirit! As a 1980 alumni , I found a home in the psychology department that to this day has shaped who I am in my profession! Be well and enjoy the next step......
Tara Lutman Agacayak Class of 1995 said on May 19, 2014
Congratulations and best wishes to you on your retirement Dr. Willemsen. I often recount the words you said to me when I graduated in 1995, you said that we [women] can have it all, but not all at the same time. I believe you were Chair of the Psychology Department at the time. That has been a piece of advice I've kept with me all throughout my professional career. Enjoy what comes next for you. I hope it will be splendid. Warm wishes from Istanbul, Turkey.
Tom Marcoux said on May 19, 2014
Dr. Eleanor, Congratulations on completing your journey with the Santa Clara University Psychology Department. I deeply appreciate your kind support while I was an undergraduate at SCU and your kind endorsement of my first book with your comment: "Psychologically sound. Fables for a new age." The material of the first book was later included in my book "Be Heard and Be Trusted." The beginning of a writing career can be a fragile thing -- now as I complete writing my 24th book, I'm deeply grateful for your kindness. I still remember your patience and guidance when I studied in your class on Advanced Statistics. Now, I'm 14 years into serving graduate students and college students -- and I guest-lectured two times for Stanford University MBA students. Thanks so much. much joy and fulfillment in your next projects and activities, Tom Tom Marcoux CEO TFG Thought Leader Coach, Speaker-Author of 23 books, free chapters at Amazon Graduate School Instructor Tom's blog: BeHeardandBeTrusted dot com
Katy Bruchmann said on May 20, 2014
It was such an honor to call you my colleague, if only for a year! Your legacy at Santa Clara is such an inspiration and will motivate me throughout my whole career. Congratulations on your retirement!
Jerry Burger said on May 20, 2014
There are so many reasons why Eleanor has been a wonderful colleague for so many years, but perhaps chief among them is her habit of quietly putting the needs of her students and the department ahead of her own. For example, for many years Eleanor taught an advanced statistics class in which she met weekly with a small number of students -- sometimes only a single student -- to help them develop skills they would need for graduate school. What few people know is that, up until a few years ago, Eleanor received no teaching credit for all this work. Even after I insisted on working with the dean?s office to change the situation, she resisted. It was her contribution, she said. Few people also realize that in the past 10 or 15 years, Eleanor has had more ?new prep? classes than any other member of our department -- sometimes more than one new class a year. She was always glad to do it. It?s what the department needs, she would say. Eleanor made us a better department and a better university, and we will definitely miss her.
Sister Lioba Postel, OSB said on May 21, 2014
Thank you, Dr. Willemsen, for being a role model to me, as an undergraduate and throughout my life. You gave me so much more than wonderfully challenging and stimulating courses. As a woman, and Department Head,you held out the hope to me that one could be gifted intellectually and inter-personally; one could thrive in an academic world, predominantly male, and effectively teach everything from statistics to Piaget. You moved apparently seamlessly between these topics, faculty, student needs and family life. I did pursue a Masters in Psychology, in good part sparked by your example. Obviously, I did not enter academia, but was privileged to serve in Community Mental Health, knowing that what I had been given, I could give and give with everything I had. Thank you, Dr. Willemsen, for setting the bar high for me. - Susan Postel, class of '83
Elizabeth Sweeney Aguilar said on May 25, 2014
Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Willemsen! Your classes on Developmental Psychology are ones I remember well from my days at SCU. I went on to earn a Masters in Child Development, inspired by the interest I developed on the topic in your classes. Thanks again for being passionate about psychology-it was contagious! Enjoy the good times ahead. Elizabeth Sweeney Aguilar-Class of '91
Julieanne said on Aug 16, 2014
Do you happen to be a school teacher? I had a wonderful first grade teacher in San Francisco who was named Elizabeth Sweeney. She inspired me to be a teacher...and I start my first teaching job on Monday!
Marilyn Edelstein said on May 28, 2014
It's been a pleasure to have Eleanor as a colleague for as long as I've been at SCU (a mere 27 years, compared to Eleanor's impressive 40 years!). I wish you a happy, healthy, fulfilling retirement, Eleanor, which you richly deserve after so many years as an outstanding colleague, teacher, scholar, and woman leader at SCU.
Melissa Gilbert said on May 28, 2014
Thank you Eleanor for your leadership in so many areas at SCU. As a new faculty member with young children, I especially appreciated your efforts regarding child care and mentorship of new female faculty. Best wishes for a wonderful retirement!
Tim Urdan said on May 29, 2014
Every time I see Eleanor I feel like saying "I'm so sorry for my behavior...Now I understand what you were trying to tell me." Eleanor is the embodiment of the "Santa Clara way" and has been trying to teach me how to embrace it since my first year at SCU. It is about supporting colleagues, thinking more about the larger institution than the self, and trying to always make the place (whether it be the classroom, the department, the university, or the society) better. As I get older I understand this way more and more and have an ever growing appreciation for all that Eleanor has done to pursue these goals. Congratulations on your retirement!
metin polat said on Oct 21, 2015
hello dear prof. i saw your work and i adore you. you are very successfull. i wish i could be like you. thans a lot lawyer metin polat
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