The William Morris Society in the United States is saying farewell to President Michael Robertson, who is moving to London, where he will be an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London, while he completes his biography of William Morris. Former President Jane Carlin is serving as Interim President until Jude Nixon becomes President in early 2022.

 

A Goodbye from Michael

Headshot of Michael Robertson, a middle-aged white man with short grey hair and beard, wearing a blue shirt and dark blazer.

“I’m sorry to leave my friends and colleagues in the U.S.,” Michael said, “but I look forward to working with the William Morris Society in London, and I anticipate seeing many of my Morris friends there.”

Michael’s term as President was notable for increases in the U.S. Society’s membership and for the success of the new online series of monthly events.

“The Society is the strongest it’s ever been,” he said, “thanks to our extremely energetic and highly involved Board of Directors. Jane, who’s stepping in for me, is a superb leader, and we’re very lucky to have someone with Jude’s broad knowledge and vision and international reputation as our next President.”

The entire Board of the William Morris Society in the United States thanks Michael for his service; we wish him all the best as he starts this new chapter!

 

A Hello from Jude

Selfie of Jude Nixon, a smiling middle-ages Black man with grey hair. He is in front of a blue plaque marking the birthplace of Jane Morris.

Jude Nixon is Professor of English and former Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at Salem State University in Massachusetts. In addition to publications on William Morris, he has published widely on other Victorian writers, and he is author/editor of four books on Gerard Manley Hopkins and on Victorian science, culture, and religion. He serves on the editorial board of numerous journals in the U.S., U.K., and Europe.

Jude’s plan, in assuming leadership of the Board, is to continue with the incredible programs already in place, as well as explore new, interesting, and culturally relevant ones. He also would like to increase Board and membership diversity and increase membership of youth and young scholars through the writing and Dunlap awards. Jude envisions increasingly seamless ties among the diverse and multifaceted activities of the Society, greater coordination, and to seek out greater collaborative programming initiatives.

Jude writes: “I am excited by the opportunity to lead this auspicious society, although I know that stepping into Michael’s shoes will be quite the challenge. What I do know is that the current Board membership comprises some of the hardest working and most committed group with whom I have ever been associated. Knowing that, I am heartened by the immense supportive structure in place around me. I look forward to leading our Board by continuing the incredible programs already in place and exploring new, interesting, and culturally relevant ones. I would like to see us work on increasing Board diversity across all areas, membership diversity, and attract youth and young scholars’ membership through the writing and Dunlap awards. It is also important that we provide programs that tie in seamlessly with the diverse and multifaceted activities of the Society and to seek out greater collaborative programming opportunities.”

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