Distinguished Professors First to Receive Emeritus Status at AUBGOctober 04, 2017
After many years of service to the American University in Bulgaria four faculty members – Stoyan Bonev, Lyuben Mutafchiev, Angel Popov, and Mark Stefanovich, became the institution’s first professors emeriti. AUBG President Dr. Steven Sullivan awarded the honors on Sept. 13 in a ceremony at the Andrey Delchev Auditorium.
The Faculty Assembly first established the emeritus status in the spring of 2013 for faculty who upon retirement have taught at the university for at least 15 years, have not held an equivalent status in a different institution, and have been recommended by the Provost and Dean of Faculty.
“We are 26 years old and we have more than one person who have spent most of their career with us and have not finished, but sort of phased to a lighter stage of their career,” said Provost Emilia Zankina of the recent retirees.
Professor Emeritus Bonev began his journey at AUBG 17 years ago as an adjunct professor, but then quickly earned his full-time position at the Computer Science department. His efforts helped establish the program as one of the leading ones in the country.
“Here I am in front of you in the end of my professional career, full of positive emotions [for this institution],” Bonev said. “I am remaining sincerely and respectfully yours, dear AUBG community.”
When Mutafchiev and Popov joined the AUBG faculty in the early 90s, the Mathematics department offered only a handful of courses. Both professors’ work helped develop the math major and minor into the prestigious programs they are today. Mutafchiev expressed gratitude to his colleagues for their support throughout the years, and to his students, “especially [the] smart students,” who motivated him to continue teaching at the university for so long.
“[This ceremony] is an indication that this institution grows, but also it is an indication for our group [of professors] that maybe we’ve grown up too much,” Popov joked.
Stefanovich arrived to teach anthropology and archeology in 1992 and is considered "one of the founding fathers of the AUBG faculty." His teaching went beyond the classroom walls, organizing excavation expeditions for his students to nearby archaeological sites.
“Without Dr. Stefanovich, AUBG would have been a different institution,” Dean of Faculty Robert White said.
Stefanovich could not attend the ceremony, but will return to campus in December to receive his emeritus award.
Story by Martin Georgiev
Photos by Natalia Shirshova