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VMA faculty Shipps to retire

Visual and Media Arts Associate Professor Stephen Shipps is retiring this year after more than 40 years of service to Emerson College.

Shipps arrived at Emerson in 1970, after earning his bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth College and attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He later received his EdD from Harvard University. Shipps is a resident of West Newbury, Massachusetts.

At Emerson, Shipps has touched the lives of thousands of Emerson students. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including studio classes as well as art appreciation and critical theory. He also served as the director of the College’s fine arts photography program for more than 20 years.

“My primary focus at Emerson has always been teaching, and I’m going to miss the kids a great deal,” Shipps said.

Beyond the classroom, Shipps’s photography has been exhibited in galleries throughout Boston, and published as illustrations in numerous periodicals. Among the many awards he garnered during his career are: a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship-in-Residence for College Teachers; a fellowship from the Getty Center for Education in the Arts; the Emerson College Alumni Association Leonard J. Riendeau Award for Outstanding Dedication and Contributions to the College; and the Emerson Gold Key Honor Society Award for Outstanding Teaching.

“Engaging, inspiring, demanding, creative, and memorable. I read those words, and words like them, thousands of times in Steve’s course evaluations over two decades,” said Emerson President Emerita Jacqueline Liebergott. “Each of us has a teacher or two we remember because we feel they changed our lives. Steve is one of those teachers.”

Shipps said that he will spend much of this summer at his family’s vacation home in Southern Ontario and he “plans to take this summer to make plans” for life after Emerson. “I don’t think it’s going to descend upon me that I’m really retired until the fall,” he noted.

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