Former Honors Director Leaves Legacy
Linda Lockwood, professor of environmental science, was the director of the UMass Amherst Honors Program from 1982 to 1992. She passed away in 2009 after a long illness. Lockwood assumed leadership of the Honors Program at a critical time and left her mark with programs and initiatives that are still in place today. Commonwealth Honors College received a bequest gift from Lockwood’s estate that allows the college to support talented honors students—a meaningful legacy from a leader who paved the way for the honors program to become a college.
Born in New York City, Lockwood attended Columbia University, where she received her BS in 1960. She earned a master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers College in 1965 and a PhD in botany in 1969 from Columbia University Graduate Faculty of Pure Science. Lockwood joined the faculty as an associate professor of environmental sciences at UMass Amherst in 1973 and taught interdisciplinary courses in environmental science education and techniques, ecology, and biology.
In 1982, Lockwood was named the part-time director of the UMass Amherst Honors Program. She also served as a departmental honors coordinator and undergraduate advisor for the department of environmental science. Lockwood took on the director role at a time when Honors Program enrollments had dipped. By the time she was named full-time Honors Program Director in 1985, student membership in the program had doubled from 200 to 400 students. By 1987, Honors Program membership had increased to 600 undergraduates.
At the time when she was appointed full-time director in 1985, Lockwood told the Daily Collegian, “The most important thing for me is to make sure that the Honors Program has a human face.” Under her leadership, the Honors Program developed a residential program in Orchard Hill, a Labor Day weekend orientation, increased the number of honors course offerings on campus, and made the program more visible on campus and nationwide. Lockwood’s participation in the National Collegiate Honors Council brought the UMass Amherst Honors Program to national attention, especially when she was elected to the council’s executive committee in 1992.
The gift from the Lockwood estate is one more way in which Lockwood has left her mark on honors education at UMass Amherst. The gift is in an endowment fund that supports operations and the Linda Lockwood Opportunity Scholarship.
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