Randy Calvert, the Thomas F. Eagleton University Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science, retires after 30+ years of scholarship at WashU
Randy Calvert, the Thomas F. Eagleton University Professor of Public Affairs and Political Science, first joined the Department of Political Science in 1979. After eight years, he took a brief intermission to teach at the University of Rochester before he was “lured back” to WashU in 1999, a move that finally stuck.
Ever since returning to WashU, Calvert has been a fixture in the political science department. Some of his favorite memories involve working with honors thesis students. “I was seeing the very best students at their very best,” he said.
Across his WashU career, Calvert has collaborated with faculty in a variety of other departments and schools, including economics, business, law, and most recently, American culture studies. “I hope they got a fraction of the intellectual enrichment from me that I got from them,” he said.
Calvert’s impact to the field is highly recognized. Justin Fox, Associate Professor of Political Science, remarked that “[his] work on candidate divergence ("Robustness of the Multidimensional Voting Model: Candidate Motivations, Uncertainty, and Convergence"), published in 1985, continues to motivate scholarship on partisan polarization and is widely recognized as one of the most influential papers on candidate competition in the last fifty years. … Randy is also widely recognized for his commitment to undergraduate education and mentorship of Ph.D. students, conducting numerous independent studies, and devoting countless hours to advising undergraduate theses and PhD students throughout his career.”
Professor Calvert’s Retirement Celebration will be held on Friday, June 16th at 6pm in the Holmes Lounge on campus. (RSVPs have closed at the time of publication.) Fox reflected, “Celebrating Randy's career with his colleagues and students will allow many of those he has inspired, worked with, and helped over their careers to say thank you. As one of those people who Randy has supported and mentored (for over 25 years!), I'm thrilled the Department of Political Science and Washington University is holding this event."
While he will miss teaching, Calvert said he is looking forward to spending his retirement reading and learning “as much and as widely as I want.”