"I think this is a marvelous opportunity that he's provided for students," added Higgins.
Dr. Jin Kim, a communications professor at the university, said Pollard personified the words of the Chinese philosopher Confucius.
"Teaching and learning are just two different manifestations of the same process," said Kim. "The ability to take the perspective of his students has been a hallmark of his teaching career. If that quality can be developed by all members of our profession, the dire prediction of the imminent demise of colleges will have indeed been proven misguided."
Pollard thanked his colleagues for their words of praise and congratulations upon unveiling his portrait with Ettling's assistance.
"What can I say other than thank you? It is a real honor to be among this group," Pollard said as he looked at a wall adorned with portraits of other distinguished teaching professors. "I've had the pleasure of knowing many of these people over the decades personally as colleagues and as friends, and it is a true honor to be here."
Presented annually by the SUNY system, the distinguished teaching professorship is bestowed upon faculty who "demonstrate consistent superior mastery of teaching; outstanding service to students and commitment to their ongoing intellectual growth, scholarship and professional growth; and adherence to rigorous academic standards and requirements."