This year Professor of History and Director of the Center for Gender Equity (CGE) Martha Rampton will be celebrating in one of her last Women’s History Months at Pacific University, as she prepares to retire from full-time work, after 24 years as a Boxer, at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
“I am retiring as a professor at the end of this year,” Rampton said. “But, they are hiring me as an adjunct next year to run the CGE, so CGE won’t change.”
Rampton, who first arrived at Pacific in 1994, after first teaching at a high school and then later living in Europe, said she originally saw a major lack of women’s programming on campus. And in 1995, with the help of some colleagues, worked to create the Women’s Studies Minor, known today at the Gender and Sexuality Minor.
“The CGE, which today does things like brown paper bag discussions and hosts speakers on campus, was really started to augment the academic minor,” Rampton said. “Interestingly, three years ago, CGE overtook the minor and now the minor is a subset of CGE. So where CGE started out as the daughter, now it’s the mom.”
According to Rampton, the CGE, which currently employs 19 student workers, continues to grow each year and now creates programing for all Pacific campuses and local community organizations.
“The scope of the individuals that are able to benefit from the programing has grown, and frankly the quality of the programming and the students also, they’re amazing,” Rampton said. “It’s important to CGE, and especially to me, that people know everything we do in CGE is about gender equity.”
Though this will be one of Rampton’s last Women’s History Months while still at Pacific, she said she is excited about this year’s theme of “What’s Her Crime.”
“We’re looking at women who broke boundaries,” Rampton said. “The whole thing is about criminals, and learning who these people were and what they were wanted for.”
A CGE display depicting women who have broken boundaries throughout history will be up in the Tran Library throughout the month of March.
In addition, the CGE plans to host a Women of Pacific Night on March 19, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., open to the entire Pacific community.
“This will be a new event and we’re going to honor women from Pacific,” Rampton said. “We’re going to have them come, and then they will be mock-arrested and we’re going to read their rap sheets, and the whole theme will be about the boundaries they’ve broken.”
Next year, In addition to her normal work load as Director of CGE, Rampton will assist the University in helping find her replacement.
However, Rampton said she is somewhat worried for the future of Pacific, as she recently learned her position as a history professor will not be refilled.
“I’m the only historian who teaches anything before 1500 and they’re not replacing me, and that’s bad,” Rampton said. “I love the way Pacific has grown, but I want Pacific to get back to its roots as a liberal arts college. I think the University needs to step up to the quality of students we have and make more strategic decisions.”
After retiring from Pacific as the Director of CGE, after the 2018-19 school year, Rampton plans to move to New Mexico where she hopes to return to her research and writing.
She currently has two books being published later this spring.
Rampton said the thought of leaving Pacific’s campus and her students continues to get harder each day, however, she plans to remain as active as possible in her remaining time as a Boxer.
And she encourages her all of her students, both past and present, to continue persevering.
“Decide what you believe in and doggedly persist,” Rampton said. “I think persistence is more important to success in this life, than talent.”