Nell Irvin Painter


Sixtieth Birthday Tribute
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Late Arrivals

We continued to receive birthday greetings for Nell after her birthday. Because the (A-L) and (M-Z) files were bursting at the seams, we decided to set up this file for late arrivals.

Read congratulations and tributes from:
A-L  |   M-Z   |  Late Arrivals


Chinua Achebe

Dear Glenn Shafer,

I have only now seen your message about Nell's birthday and I am really sorry to have missed the chance to greet her before the event. My family and I send her our best wishes for many, many happy returns of August 2 and the assurance of our profound admiration and love.

Chinua Achebe

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Emma Amos


August 2nd is my husband Bobby's birthday too!

I wish you lots of cake and goodies with no extra pounds.

Emma Amos

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Pat Auferheide

Nell, a belated happy birthday and many big hugs from here! I'm so sorry we're late with our wishes--we were travelling. I am so grateful for your presence in the world every day, and I treasure your presence in my life, including your welcoming me to a spot on your couch to watch the first broadcasts of "Eyes on the Prize." Thank you too for introducing me to Glenn, and may we see more of both of you.

Many happy returns,
Pat Aufderheide, with Steve Schwartzman and Elias and Gabe

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Bil Banks

Congrats to Nell on one of many "passages" she has negotiated. I am sure that the family and friends who have been enriched by relationships with her realize that she has much more to give to the world. But for now, a loud "shout out".

Bil Banks
Berkeley, 2002

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Jacquelyn Hall

Dear Nell, (almost belated) birthday greetings--we've been hiking in the High Sierras and just got the word.

We bless our good luck in crossing paths with you in all sorts of ways: as friends and colleagues at UNC; in Oxford, Miss. (remember a party in our apartment where all the Ford fellows were in awe of you?); as co-mentors of a few special students; and most of all, as simpatico workers in the vineyards of southern history, women's history, labor history.

We look forward to much more co-conspirating in the years to come.
love, Jacquelyn & Bob

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Anca & Peter Hammer

Dear Nell,

We have found out from "usually reliable" sources, that you have just joined our club of Permanently Young Adults, and wish to welcome you among us. We cannot think of anyone having more appropriate credentials than you for membership in this club: energy, clarity of purpose, dedication,perseverence, and well, style.We are very proud of you and happy to be in your good company. Enjoy, be healthy, be young.

Anca & Peter

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Renea Henry

Dear Professor Painter,

What an amazing gift you are. It seems cliche to say only Happy Birthday to you, even inadequate. You have given so very much to so very many, that greetings are not quite what I wish to send. I wish to send tribute because you have inspired me.

My desk dictionary defines inspire thusly:
1. to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration.
2. exert an amimating, enlivening, or exalting influence upon...
3. to communicate to an agent supernaturally; also: bring out or about
6. to spread by indirect means.

You, Professor Painter, embody inspiration. So many times, in word or in deed. In person or only by example, you have inspired me to be my very best.

Most are admired because they move others to follow their example...only a very few are special enough to encourage others to find their own unique path. Just by being who you are, you have sparked me to be who I am. And for that, if nothing else, I call you my inspiration.

Happy Birthday, Professor Painter...may your bright light shine on!
Renea Henry, Princeton '92
Renea T. Henry is Manager of Educational Programs and Initiatives,
National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis, Tennessee

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Mckay Jenkins

Happy Birthday, Nell!

Mckay Jenkins
English Eepartment
University of Delaware

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Michael Lerner

Dear Nell,

Your important work on behalf of social justice and social healing has been important to many people both within and outside academia. You will probably never know how many there are like me--people who deeply appreciate you and celebrate your creativity and wisdom.

Rabbi Michael Lerner
Editor, TIKKUN Magazine

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Leo & Jane Marx

It's a pleasure, Nell, for us to join the chorus of salutations on this memorable day. I vividly remember the moment we met that day back in -- was it '84? All those professors milling around in the Seattle airport waiting to board a flight for China. I remember the tightrope you walked lecturing to a seminar of Chinese scholars, talking a bit, then watching the audience response to the translator, especially to the mixed bag of questions after your talk. Navigating all the national and international attitudes on race wasn't easy, but you kept cool. I have many strange memories of that junket -- none stranger than our footrace -- just the two of us -- down that quartermile hotel corridor. How did we get into that? I assume you challenged me, Nell, and beat me too. But even better are the Maine memories, and our long swims across your lake, and the sunset dinners and meeting your friends, not to mention Frank and Dona. You've enriched our lives, Nell, for which we thank you affectionately,

Leo & Jane
Jamaice Plain, Massachusetts

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Helen McGruder

Trixy nixy: Guess who's sixty

Congrats and best wishes on your birthday, another milestone another success. May your health be great and your birthdays, many. You have the genes of your dear parents whom I also send my love and fondest wishes.

Warmest wishes and much love on your memorable day.
Helen C McGruder
Ps: Ewart sends his love from above.

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Dan Rodgers

It's said that the 60s are the best years of all--all that accumulated wisdom and achievement, all that self-understanding. It's a piece of folk wisdom I'm counting on for myself at any rate.

May it be for you a wonderful, flourishing, exciting decade.

As always,

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Blanca Silvestrini

Dearest Nell,

Feliz cumpleaqos, although late because I was abroad and just got the news.

Your life has been an inspiration for many scholars, but it touched mine in very special ways. You inspired me at a turning point in my life. I still enjoy the long evenings of talk and laugh in Palo Alto. I won't forget when I was invited to give the Elsa Goveia Lecture in 1989 and I told you that I couldn't accept because did not have a sitter for my children. You said, "I'll do it, you must go." It showed me your heart, your friendship and your sisterhood.

Many blessings,

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Carol & Donald Sims

It has truly been a blessing to have known you for more than fifty years. I will always remember the years on 34th Street, our bike rides, parties, sewing projects,the love of music and your creativity.

May you enjoy this new phase of life and all the joy that it will bring.

Carol & Donald Sims

See the e-card Carol & Donald sent to Nell. Use this information in the Hallmark "e-card pickup" page:
Enter this email address:
and this confirmation number: EG0188631042309

Hallmark provides these instructions to see the card:
Click the link above, or copy and paste this link into your Web browser's address line:
Website/greeting.jsp?id=EG0118-186389-3104 2309

If you have trouble using the link provided, please follow these steps:
1. Click this link to go to our homepage, or copy and paste it into your browser's address line:
2. Click on the "e-cards and cards" link.
3. Click on the "browse free e-cards" link in the e-cards section of the page.
4. Click on the link on the upper left hand side of the page that says "pick up a greeting."
5. Enter this email address:
and this confirmation number: EG0188631042309
This e-card will be available for 60 days.

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Sybil Stokes

The web site is a wow. Give others in the humanities 25 years to catch up.

Also, please give Nell my best wishes for the years ahead. It's very nice to have a picture of who she is as a person as well as a scholar. We haven't seen each other often, but each time has been a pleasure. I even read "The Wind Done Gone" after the roundtable last spring!


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Bill & Donna Vachon

Dear Nell:

Donna and I want to wish you a terrific and happy 60th birthday and hope that it finds you in good health and well satisfied with work and life (in general).

I realize that your birthday was August 2 and this is August 4. I apologize for that, but Donna and I have been at the cottage for the past week and my modem in the laptop died. Now I am at the home office and can send these wishes.

All four of the Vachons fondly remember the great discussions that we had at both your place and ours in Maine. Christine especially appreciates the supporting comments that you provided to her as she was so uncertain of her future as she was applying to Wellesley College and trying to find herself. Well, she made it in and through Wellesley, through law school and is now a successful attorney at the SEC (working for Harvey Pitt ...can you believe?).

Ryan of course appreciated your insight on so many areas with which he was unfamiliar.

Donna and I miss you and Glenn a lot. We had some wonderful discussions on the lake-side platform where (with wine glass in hand, with wine in it for the most part) we solved the political problems of the world. It was an occasion to which we always looked forward. In fact, based on the recommendations from you and Glenn in a discussion with a nice red wine, Donna and I visited and loved Berlin, Germany. You have played a very important part of our life - if only for brief periods. We thank you for that.

We hope that the next few years find you in good health (most importantly) and that you are satisfied professionally..with books and teaching/research, etc.

We enjoy the new land that we acquired from you (in Maine) a lot and hope to keep it undeveloped forever.

Our best to you both.
Bill & Donna Vachon

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