Brookdale celebrates Shakespeare and honors retiring dean


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The spirit of Shakespeare is alive and well at Brookdale Community College.

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The college, located in Lincroft, celebrated the 8th annual Shakespeare Read-A-Thon in honor of the English playwright’s (observed) 454th birthday.

Students, faculty and members of the community came together to recite excerpts from famous Shakespearian plays and sonnets, which included passages from “The Tempest,” “Hamlet” and “Henry V.”

The evening of April 26 was dedicated to Dr. Carl Calendar, who has served as Brookdale’s dean of humanities for the past 48 years.

“Shakespeare is the bar that everybody is sort of set to. So many of the themes that we study in literature – and so many of the stories that are repeated – were made into what they are from him. Everything that we understand in English has so much to do with him. The way that we know language and phrasing, that’s all because of Shakespeare,” said Dara Evans, an English professor.

In a previous statement, James Cody, a professor of English, said the annual remembrance recognizes a chance for individuals to “conquer their apprehension over Shakespeare’s language.”

Calendar was a previous professor of Shakespeare, Evans said. He plans to retire at the end of the academic year.

Faculty members individually expressed their appreciation for Calendar’s commitment as a dean, teacher, mentor and friend. 

Evans said Calendar inspired her to become an educator.

“Tonight is dedicated to Dr. Carl Calendar. He made me an English major in his Shakespeare class. I became an English major when I was studying Shakespeare’s plays with Dr. Calendar. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and he really opened my mind to the critical thinking and the analysis that went with it, as well as all that was hidden in Shakespeare’s works,” Evans said.

“My ties to Brookdale have so much to do with Dr. Calandar’s class, but everything in my life that came from being an English major, even my job, is because of Shakespeare,” she continued.

John Bukovec, a professor of theater at the college, was among the group of faculty members who chose to recite a Shakespearian excerpt to Calendar, in honor of his departure from the institution.

“I’m going to miss you,” Bukovec said.

The evening concluded as any birthday celebration would – with a rendition of “Happy (454th) Birthday.”

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