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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-23-09 10:46 AM
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Sidney Fine, U-M professor, left his mark on history
http://www.detnews.com/article/20090415/OBITUARIES/9041...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Sidney Fine, Ann Arbor
U-M professor left his mark on history
Mark Hicks / The Detroit News

Teaching for more than 50 years at the University of Michigan, Sidney Fine passionately combined insight and research to expand perceptions of history.

"He had a remarkable capacity to make it seem alive and fresh and important," said Raymond Grew, a U-M professor emeritus.

"He used details very effectively. ... It was that clarity and liveliness that stood out."

Professor Fine died on Tuesday, March 31, 2009. He was 88.

Born Oct. 11, 1920, in Cleveland, he earned a bachelor's degree in history from Case Western Reserve University. During World War II, he served as a Japanese-language interpreter in the Office of Naval Intelligence.

He earned his master's and doctoral degrees from U-M, where he began teaching in 1948.

Specializing in 20th century history, Professor Fine went on to teach more than 26,000 students during his career and became a department chairman, relatives and university associates said.

His lectures were so popular, students sometimes were forced to sit on the floor, said his wife, Jean. "He liked the interaction with the students. He was enthusiastic, very devoted. He enjoyed what he was doing every minute." Added Victor Lieberman, also a U-M history professor: "He always had a large enrollment. He was able to combine theoretical analysis with arresting anecdotes."

-snip-

His career helped persuade state lawmakers to change the mandatory retirement age, 70, for tenured university professors, associates said, allowing him to retire in 2001.

"Sidney once told me about a father who came up to him after one of his lectures -- students frequently brought their parents to his classes -- to personally thank him for so significantly enriching the quality of the family's dinner conversations," said Michael Brooks, a longtime friend and executive director of the U-M Hillel. "He had a profound impact."

-snip-

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truebluesue Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 05:46 PM
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1. Dr Fine was an inspired lecturer; will be missed
I had Dr. Fine's US History class at U-M in 1993 - one of my very first classes at the U, and one of the best - his lectures were interesting, and he actually CARED that we had a sense of the times he discussed and we read about...As an older (26 year old) undergraduate, he made me really care about my education, and inspired me to put as much effort as HE obviously did. A great loss to the U-M community!
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1gobluedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-25-09 07:35 PM
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2. I had the exact opposite impression
I found his lectures drony and hard to follow; he never deviated from his script, never brought the subject to life (and I majored in history so I was very interested). I know he was roundly respected and had a stellar career but he didn't do much for me. And this was in 1981.
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