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A Celebration of the Life of Stanley Friedman

Stanley Friedman - A Life in Science

The Department of Entomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is hosting a memorial on September 18, 2017, in honor of Stanley Friedman (December 11, 1925–June 16, 2017). Stanley was a research associate here for 3.5 years from 1952–1956. He then returned as a faculty member from 1964–1992 and was an integral part of the Department providing a warm, wise anchor for students, faculty, and staff for some 28 years. During his 17-year tenure as Head, he successfully steered the Department through challenges to the organization and future of the Department, and also served as Acting Director of the School of Life Sciences during difficult times. Stanley regarded the education of students who have gone on to significant careers, and in particular the hiring of a series of faculty who are responsible for the current high ranking of the Department, as the crown jewels of his career. Yet Stanley was also a scientist who did much important work in insect physiology, including work on sugar metabolism in insects, vitamins, and dietary self-selection.

On September 18, 2017, expressions of appreciation of Stanley Friedman from current and past faculty and students as well as family members and others in attendance were portrayed during a memorial service and reception in his honor in the Charles G. Miller Auditorium (B102 Chemical and Life Sciences Building). Click here to view a pdf of May Berenbaum's presentation. Remembrances from those who could not attend are written below.


Gail Kampmeier (UIUC Alumna):
I am very thankful for the advice and candor of Dr. Friedman in steering me towards the Illinois Natural History Survey for a student job in entomology. His support of students, even unconventional ones like me, was much appreciated.

Robert (Bert) Clegern (UIUC Alumnus):
It was my pleasure and honor to attend the U. of I Department of Entomology during 1965-66 for my Masters, and 1969-72 for my Doctorate under Dr. Bob Metcalf. I was truly impressed with Stan Friedman for his knowledge, kindness, directness, and wisdom. Studying Insect Physiology under Drs. Friedman, Willis, and Fraenkel was, I am sure, unequaled anywhere else in the world. We have lost a brilliant mind and kind soul.

Diana Jaher (Friend of Stanley's):
Stan, Fran, and my father, Fred Jaher, were long-time friends. They, along with Diane and Fred Gottheil, Fanny Bryan, and Loretta and Ed Dessen had drinks/dinner every Friday night for years. He and my father shared an endless love of sports. I would attend these dinners occasionally and always loved speaking with Stanley, whose memories of CU from the '40s were fascinating. He had a kind heart, a social conscience, and a sense of humor. Equally important, he and I shared the same large-sized sweet tooth and inevitably split the sugariest, chocolatiest dessert on the menu, while everyone else had something more sensible, like coffee. Sadly, Stan, Fran, Fred, Ed, and my father are gone now. Diane and I, and sometimes Loretta and Fanny (when she's in town) still go out on Friday nights, but we do -- and will always -- miss those who can no longer be with us.

Mark Sturtevant (UIUC Alumnus):
I will remember Stan's kindness and wisdom.

Bruce Stanley (UIUC Alumnus):
Thank you Professor Friedman. I am a better man for having known you. You taught me how to see an insect as just another being trying to make its way through life. And, I am certain that there has been a part of you in all of the better decisions I have made during my professional career. Your legacy will endure. With thanks and celebration of a life well lived, Bruce H. Stanley, PhD.

Lisa Carloye (Former Student of Dr. Friedman's):
Stanley holds a special place in my life - as his last graduate student, I was lucky to have him as my first introduction to research science. It took me awhile to get used to the long pauses that often preceded his thoughtful answers to my questions but he always made me feel at ease with that twinkle in his eye and warm smile. In Stanley's lab, I had my first introduction to HPLC and, only after discovering that other people actually bought shiny new equipment did I realize that Stanley was a do-it-yourself kind of guy. The machine I learned on was of his own creation, rigged up from parts scavenged from other machines. Who needs autoinjectors? Not us! Just set a timer and run back to the lab to inject the next sample. Stanley was a very special person. When I think of him, I think of a man of integrity, humor, warmth, and creativity. He will be missed.

David L. Denlinger (UIUC Alumnus):
I regret that I am unable to attend the tribute for Stanley Friedman, but let me take a few moments to reflect on his impact on my life. Stanley was a relatively young faculty member when I entered Graduate School at Illinois in 1967, and frankly, I found him a bit intimidating, at least at first. He towered over me, and it was clear that he was really bright and had high expectations of his students. At that time, I did not anticipate going on to a career in insect physiology and biochemistry, so I viewed his field as being a bit tangential to my own interests. I assumed I would be an ecologist or something along those lines. For me, it was great that Illinois did not require incoming students to already have figured out what they wanted to do with their lives! But, with a few years under my graduate student belt, Stanley became a treasured mentor. He listened, he thought deeply, and was most willing to share his valuable insights. And, he cared about students, even those of us who were not working directly under his guidance. By the time I was finishing my degree in 1971, the job market had really shut down and there were few openings for entomologists. In spite of these tough times, I was offered a pretty good job, but, at age 25, I wasn’t quite ready to jump into the conventional work force. I really wanted to see the world and especially to spend some time in Africa. When my advisors, Judy Willis and Gottfried Fraenkel, told Stanley that I was possibly going to decline the job offer, he told them that they MUST NOT let me decline that good offer. Judy and Gottfried only told me that story much later, but when I returned to Illinois to give a seminar on my work in Africa, Stanley seemed to approve of my decision to gamble with my life. Although I didn’t always take his advice he was consistently a great sounding board for new ideas and dreams.

Craig Reid (UIUC Alumnus):
When Dr. Friedman pushed to hire me to be a TA for Biology 110-111, he shared that he heard I was a funny teacher regardless of the course I was TAing and that students reacted well to it. When he asked me how did I do it, I riffed off a bunch of biology jokes, he couldn't stop laughing. Since that day, we'd chat in his office twice a year and he'd ask me about some touchy subjects, he'd listen intently, nod, look at me with that big mellow smile of his and say, "You're very diplomatic in the way you handle and discuss things, ever thought of getting into school administration?" I answered, "As you know, part of my strength in entomology is pest management...so I am good with kids." He laughed and said, "You're hired."

Peter Price (Former UIUC Faculty):
Stanley was an honorable man: he had my greatest respect - a gentle friend, a sound administrator, softly spoken and a deeply committed scientist.

Art Weis (UIUC Alumnus):
Stanley has been a role model for my academic career. His life demonstrated the power in following a few rules: say it simply; listen carefully; be forthright; be skeptical; be neither stingy nor overboard with praise; be respectful when you disagree; see the humour in the situation. Although I have often fallen short, I have striven to follow his example in the classroom, laboratory and the meeting room. He will be missed.

Ed Cupp (UIUC Alumnus):
Stan Friedman was a calming, erudite figure in the classroom and hallways of Morrill Hall and yes – a “player” on the basketball court where he occasionally joined a pickup game with members of the Entomology grad student intramural team led by clever playmaker Frank Chang. Stan was one of us only on a higher level – a graduate student “whisperer” who inspired while assuring us as Ph.D. wannabes that we would eventually succeed. He emulated “Keep Calm and Carry On” before it crossed the Atlantic and became a commercialized phrase in the USA lexicon. I really didn’t know Stan very well until I took Insect Physiology, a course he and Joe Larsen team-taught, but immediately liked both the course content and particularly Stan’s lecture delivery which was calibrated with carefully chosen words and phrases. His favorite opening phrase when answering a question regarding a complex physiological issue was “One would expect” or ” One would know.” This 3rd person preamble gave the answer clinical credibility and, not surprisingly, instantly became part of the graduate student lingo regarding almost any issue, including Illini sports. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Insect Physiology labs were based on reports in peer-reviewed journals and each student team had to choose and repeat an experiment and then prepare all the materials for the class and lead them in duplicating the published report. Stan and Joe were always there to help and encourage but allow student independence. I have reflected over the years how well the knowledge and experience gained from that course helped me and can only say, “Thanks Stan, well done and much appreciated. I always wanted to teach as well as you and be part of the learning fellowship you so fully exemplified”. Ed Cupp, Ph.D. Class of 1969

Mike Toliver (UIUC Alumni):
Stanley was a great mentor. When I was hired to teach Insect Ecology for a semester, he was a crucial adviser as I dealt with some difficult issues. As a graduate student, I always felt his guiding hand. He was one of the wisest persons I ever knew.

Andrew (Andy) Chen (Former Student of Dr. Friedman's):
Dr. Friedman, as I always addressed him until much later in life, was an outstanding intellect, scientist, mentor and human being. I was very fortunate to have had him as my major professor during my graduate years at Illinois, 1970 - 1976. He was always honest, straight-forward, thorough with high standards and ethics. He had a tremendous impact on my professional career in never compromising quality of research. I wish him peace.

Intan Ahmad (Former Student of Dr. Friedman's):
As a new student from Indonesia in August 1986, I was very lucky to have Dr. Friedman as my academic advisor (at that time he was the Head of Department, and at every end of semester I would see him to discuss my academic situation), and later as my PhD advisor together with Dr. Gil Waldbauer, until my PhD defense on March 1992. He taught me not to give on myself, to work hard-very hard (I did not pass the prelims on my first attempt and had some problems with ENT 302). It is paying off now, I am now a full professor of Entomology at Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia, and also since 2015 as Director General of Learning and Students Affairs, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. Frankly, without Dr. Friedman’s constant encouragement and guidance, I would not be where I am now. Thanks, a lot Dr. Friedman, you’re my inspiration. Another thing, I do not know why, but actually on 25 or 26 June 2017, I somehow remembered him, and google the internet, and I found out that he passed away on June 16, 2017. RIP Dr. Friedman

Christine Wagener (UIUC Alumni):
Dr Friedman taught me that the essence of graduate study was "to learn how to do good science." Knowing this, I felt I never wavered in my decision to come back to Illinois for graduate work, to study under Gene Robinson, and to learn from the faculty that was present in the 90's. Regretfully (and sincerely), Christine M Wagener

(Memorial contributions may be made to the Josh Gottheil Memorial Fund for Lymphoma Research or to the Department of Entomology in his name [go to http://sib.illinois.edu/alumni/donations/, select Entomology Annual Fund under Department of Entomology, and on the payment page, under Additional Instructions, note that the donation is in honor of Stanley Friedman.])