The Louise F. Hegarty Award for Excellence in Teaching is given each year to a full-time faculty member whose teaching has had a marked influence on the lives of Stonehill students.  The Committee on Excellence in Teaching, representing the Students, Faculty, and the Alumni Council, selects the outstanding teacher from those nominated by students and faculty members.  The recipient stands as a symbol of the entire faculty’s commitment to academic excellence. At Convocation 2008, Stonehill College is proud to bestow the Hegarty Award on Professor Robert B. Peabody. 


Professor Peabody’s commitment to Stonehill’s mission is abundantly clear in the words of those who nominated him.  We will let them speak for themselves. 

Prof. Peabody’s teaching methods, combined with his genuine interest in student learning, have driven students to succeed in his classes and in the science field in general.  As an advisor, Prof. Peabody works closely with his students in order to help them take appropriate steps to ensure a successful future.   

When I asked Prof. Peabody to sit on my thesis committee, he was enthusiastic and left thoughtful comments on my work that let me know that he had not only read through it thoroughly, but that he actually cared about the results I got in the lab. 

Professor Peabody, or Professor Bob to students who have worked with him in the laboratory, is an inspirational, motivated member of the biology department faculty.  I had the pleasure of taking every course he teaches here at Stonehill, in addition to taking a directed study and doing the SURE program in the summer of 2006.  He embraces teaching with an equal enthusiasm across all his courses. His enthusiasm is contagious, whether he is teaching students about Armillaria in Evolution or talking about a salamander or a snake found outside during a Biological Principles lab.   

Bob’s collegiality is unparalleled . . . .  One of the criteria for excellence as a scientist, according to Andre Cournard, is communal spirit: the ability to recognize your debt to those who came before you and the willingness to share your own insights with others in the current scientific community.  I know of no scientist who exemplifies this better than Bob. 

Being around Bob, you not only get an education in biology; you learn how to live life as a whole person, able to appreciate the wonder of God’s creation through the art and precision of science.  I have no doubt that the person I am today and the doctor I will become tomorrow have been molded and shaped by knowing Bob Peabody.  I would not be where I am right now without his advice, his encouragement, his support, and his friendship.  . . . And though I am glad that he will be able to retire soon and reap the benefits of his years of dedicated service  to Stonehill, I am sad for future classes who will not have the opportunity to know the man—so passionate about a small mushroom—who makes such a huge difference. 

And so with deep pride we today recognize Professor Robert Peabody for exemplifying Stonehill’s commitment to academic excellence. 

Given this twenty-sixth day of August, 

Two thousand and eight. 

Rev. Mark T. Cregan, C.S.C.