Laurence McKinley Gould, the well-loved Antarctic explorer, professor and former Carleton president, already has a lengthy list of namesakes including Antarctic mountains, bays, glaciers, coasts and the Carleton library. At a dedication ceremony on October 9, the world received one more -- a 230-foot research vessel/ice breaker.
The R/V Laurence M. Gould, a towering red ship, weighs in at nearly 1600 tons and can support up to 26 research scientists on 75-day missions into the Antarctic region. It will be used for oceanographic and marine biological research by the United States Antarctic Program, while transporting researchers and supplies between Palmer Station and South American ports.
Gould was catapulted to international fame after serving as second in command to Adm. Richard E. Byrd during Byrd's first Antarctic expedition in 1928-30. He came to Carleton as a professor in 1932 and helped establish the college's geology department. Eventually, Gould became Carleton's fourth president, serving in that position from 1945-1962. He later moved on to warmer climates and spent the next 20 years teaching geology at University of Arizona. He died on June 21, 1995, at the age of 98.
At the dedication ceremony, held in La Rose, La., speakers praised Gould's warmth, wit and ongoing sense of exploration. Among those who spoke was Robert Murphy of Antarctic Support Associates.
"I am confident that Dr. Gould's namesake, this vessel, the R/V Laurence M. Gould, will follow the same high quality standards that Dr. Gould personally espoused during his long, productive career," Murphy said.
Representing Carleton at the ceremony was Eiler L. Henrickson, a 1943 graduate of Carleton, Carleton Professor of Geology Emeritus, and current professor of geology at Colorado College. He spoke warmly of Gould as a teacher, colleague and friend.
"It would take half a day to relate all of his accomplishments and good deeds," Henrickson said. "But the same characteristics of leadership and the respect and following that they generated made for the success of both the polar expeditions and for his remarkable presidentship of Carleton. Every activity he undertook was destined for success. His demand for excellence was placed on every facet of Carleton College as it had been for the South Pole challenge."