When I arrived the United States in 1992 to start a doctorate at UW, Madison, I had only $98 in my pocket.
My professor, Henry Drewal, quickly came to my assistance. He immediately paid my school fees for the first semester, and gave me $1,000 in cash to start me off. Then he provided me with free accommodation in the posh part of town for the first year of my studies, while I found my feet.
I was his very first Ph.D. student.
He made it possible for me to do my doctoral studies with great comfort in a fertile intellectual environment.
He said I was gifted and deserved all the encouragement I needed to grow my talents.
Most professors in the USA or anywhere else would not do that for any poor graduate student from a developing country. They would make their lives a living hell.
Dr. Henry Drewal is now retiring from teaching at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Without his financial, intellectual and sociological support, I could not have completed my Ph.D.
My testimony is not unique. It is typical of Professor Drewal’s support for his students.
He has been teaching African art for nearly half a century.
It is with mixed feelings that I announce that he is retiring.
He says he is not tired. But he is retiring to enable him to focus his attention on research, documentation and mentoring.
We will produce a volume to celebrate his contribution to the study of African art.
Please see the call for papers here: