Former Dean Marie Radford rocks - both literally and figuratively. On July 25,
2004, Pratt SILS said goodbye to Dean Radford with a Sunday
afternoon party in the 2nd
floor conference room at 14th Street in Manhattan.
The sentiment was mixed; everyone was sad to see Radford leave Pratt, but was also happy
for Radford and her move to Rutgers University. Dr. Radford's party struck the perfect note;
since Dr. Radford is known as a communications expert in the library field, we didn't expect
any less. Half a dozen speakers praised Dean Radford's work at Pratt, but the most touching
words came from Sharon Linder, Assistant to the Dean, SILS. Describing Dean Radford as an
avid listener and peacekeeper, Linder stated, "Marie likes to plant seeds everywhere. She has
more energy than anyone I know."
What we didn't expect: the plastic chicken taped to the speaker, the lit candle perched
on top of the amplifier, the talented rock band, and the excellent food. The Professors,
a band formed by Dean Radford's guitar-playing husband Gary (a professor at Fairleigh
Dickinson University), played two sets of rock and roll, featuring keyboard and tambourine
stylings from Dean Radford herself and the debut of the Radford's daughter Meg on vocals.
The Professors are influenced by rock, blues, and folk music. Half of the songs were originals,
and the rest were diverse in origin: Muddy Waters' "Take Sick and Die," Roger Waters' "Amused
to Death," and the Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer"(!) were all performed. Appropriately titled,
Sparklehorse's "Sick of Goodbyes" started the set. "Untenured Blues," written by Gary and
Marie Radford, was a humorous, biographical highlight. Band member John Barrows' harmonica
playing was wonderful, and the guitar definitely wailed during The Professors' Hawkwind
cover "Spirit of the Age."
But goodbyes are never fun, and The Professors last song served as a reminder of the
afternoon's main purpose. "Nobody Likes Happy Songs" finished off the second set. The
words were written on the wall: "Nobody likes happy songs / Nobody lives in a world where
nothing's wrong / If you think your life is perfect / You can keep it to yourself / Because
nobody likes happy songs." We'll miss you, Dean Radford.