From the archives: Memorialized on a pumpkin

When you sat down to carve your jack-o-lantern this year, no doubt a flurry of ideas ran through your mind.

Here’s one that probably didn’t, though: How about creating a likeness of your favorite professor?

That was one campus carver’s strategy back in 1964, as evidenced by this photo (click here for a larger version) from University Archives.

The lucky muse? Sociology professor Hans Gerth. Unfortunately, there’s no information about the pumpkin artist (or artists) and why he, she or they felt the need to pay homage to Gerth in such a festive manner.

Gerth was a German-born sociologist who studied Max Weber and translated several of the German scholar’s works into English. He left Germany for England in 1938, before coming to the United States. He arrived at UW-Madison in 1940 and stayed until 1971, when he returned to his homeland.

To the professorial pumpkins of UW-Madison, we wish you the spookiest of days. Happy Halloween!

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