Reginald Arthur Bowler (Aug. 7, 1930- - Aug. 8, 2021): R. Arthur Bowler was a professor in the Department of History from 1966 until his retirement in 1993. Bowler taught his entire career at UB.
He received his PhD in 1966 from the University of London. His best-known works were, The War of 1812 and Logistics and the Failure of the British Army in America, 1775-1783. Bowler lived in Buffalo for 40 years and then returned to his native Regina, Canada during retirement. Bowler is remembered not only for his teaching and time at UB, but also as an excellent woodworker.
John “Jack” Larkin: Jack Larkin was a professor in the Department of History from 1966 to 2005. He died July 29, 2021 on his 85th birthday. Larkin is mourned around the world due to his immense impact on Philippine and Southeast Asian Studies. Larkin’s impact on both the field itself and the people in it was expressed in this memorial from the Association for Asian Studies.
Many of Prof. Larkin’s former students have expressed their thoughts on the life and career of Jack Larkin. Alumnus Richard Newman (PhD ‘98 and BA ‘89) writes of Larkin:
I was very sad to hear of Jack Larkin's passing. I knew Jack as both an undergraduate student (in his iconic Vietnam War class) and a graduate student. He was a great undergraduate teacher-a vibrant lecturer who also liked to make his class a wide- ranging forum for people, issues and ideas. In the Vietnam class, he insisted that students see the long history behind Vietnam's resistance to outside incursions (we went all the way back to pre-western disputes between Vietnamese and Chinese people in Southeast Asia). He also paid close attention to divided American interests - including debates over military policies in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s. Jack was also the first history professor I knew of who brought "real" historical figures into class, including a Buffalo area native who was at Kent State. It was a great class - both ramifying and rewarding.
When I came back for grad school at UB several years after starting my PhD elsewhere, I got to spend more time with Jack in the History office, where he served as Director of Graduate Studies. I worked on my dissertation in one of the graduate offices and would take lunch breaks in the History commons, so did Jack and a few others. It became a little group, and we would talk about anything and everything - UB in the old days when Jack first arrived, books we were reading, even his cats. Jack used to bring an apple and peel it with a decent sized knife. I'll always remember his robust laugh, which often punctuated stories. I had a chance to see Jack not as a professor from on high but as a regular person and unique personality who cared a lot about the department, his students and his family. It was a truly wonderful experience to spend time with him in that way.
Do you have memories about Bowler and Larkin, or ideas about how to honor them? Share them with us! Email Shayna Devlin, communications coordinator, at UBHis@buffalo.edu