In Memoriam – Founding Faculty Member Rudy Martin

comments welcome


From Michael’s 3/17 email announcement:



It is with deep sadness that I share with you that Founding Faculty Member Rudy Martin passed away over the weekend.  Rudy retired in 1997 after 27 years of service to the College.  A resolution presented by the Board of Trustees conferring Emeritus status to Rudy, based largely on comments from colleagues, described his work as follows:


In recognition of his 27 years of exceptional dedication to The Evergreen State College as a Founding Faculty Member, as both the first Academic Dean and Faculty Chair to be drawn from the faculty, as the first Director of the Northwest Region Office of the National Faculty, and as the consummate teacher and colleague; as a rigorous scholar in literature, writing, and American Studies; as a gifted leader and team-builder; as the record-holder for having the most variety and highest number of teaching partners; and as a long-standing, loyal and caring friend to countless faculty, staff, students, and alums;


In appreciation for holding us to our convictions and values; and for his sound judgment, deadly accurate memory, fairness, toughness, useful stubbornness combined with an immense geniality, learning, intelligence, and dignity.


I extend my condolences to Rudy’s wife and former Evergreen Vice President for Student Affairs Gail Martin, stepson Grant Whiting who is a current employee in Building Services, along with the rest of his family, friends, colleagues and students.  Details about ways to more formally remember Rudy will be forthcoming as they are available.




Michael Zimmerman

Vice President for Academic Affairs

The Evergreen State College

Olympia, WA  98505


In Memoriam – Founding Faculty Member Rudy Martin

3 Responses

  1. I taught with Rudy in the first-year program “Popular Art and Culture” in 1992-93 (with Chuck Pailthorp and Paul Sparks, and contributions by Ernestine Kimbro). His lectures on Myth vs. myth, Presbyterian thought, authority and faith, and critical thinking remain with me to this day, and have informed so much of my teaching. I recall many faculty seminars dominated by lively stories of Evergreen’s early days as well as anecdotes about hunting and fishing, and I watched my own style of teaching shift toward improvisation based on his elegant model of taking a microtheme and publicly wrestling with it. He did not suffer fools gladly, as they say; my own foolishness was readily apparent in front of his exceptional foundation of knowledge! My gratitude for his presence in our lives will remain, lifelong.

    Sean Williams March 7, 2016 at 12:55 pm #
    • I was in that program for 2 quarters and Rudy was one of my seminar leaders. He had a similarly large impact on me. His intellectual style, his teaching style, and his leadership style were new to me and changed the way I thought about all three. I think of him often and I, too, am grateful for his presence.

      Aaron Gray March 23, 2016 at 5:24 pm #
  2. Rudy was a teacher in a summer school course I enrolled in one summer around 1989 during my career as a high school teacher. He was so inspiring, insisting that we communicate about our ideas, not something we read in a book that someone else thought. He altered the way I taught and thought.
    Thank you Rudy.

    Sheila Smith March 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm #