College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Research

Retiring professors enriched the lives of generations of students


Three professors are leaving a legacy of teaching excellence and distinguished scholarship as they retire from the faculty of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. These individuals have a combined experience of almost 100 years of service to Clemson University.

Thomas Kuehn, Professor Emeritus of History

Thomas Kuehn has been a history professor at Clemson since 1981, having served as department chair from 2001 to 2015 and acting chair during the 1995-96 academic year.

Photo of Thomas Kuehn, Professor Emeritus of History.
Thomas Kuehn, Professor Emeritus of History. Image Credit: Courtesy of Thomas Kuehn

As a professor, Kuehn taught courses in the Renaissance, the Reformation and medieval history. He is a specialist in the legal and social culture of Renaissance Italy.

“Tom Kuehn ranks among the most illustrious humanities professors ever to teach at Clemson,” said James Burns, interim associate dean and former history department chair in the College. “He is recognized as one of the premier Renaissance scholars of his generation. He is also an accomplished and beloved teacher, and a talented administrator.”

Kuehn is the editor of three books and author of five monographs, most recently “Gender and Family in Italy, 1300-1600” (Cambridge University Press, 2017). His book “Heirs, Kin, and Creditors in Renaissance Florence” (Cambridge University Press, 2008) won the American Historical Association’s 2009 Marraro Prize for the best work in Italian history. Among his other books are “Illegitimacy in Renaissance Florence” (University of Michigan Press, 2002) and “Time, Space and Women’s Lives in Early Modern Europe” (Truman State University Press, 2001).

Kuehn has written dozens of book chapters, journal articles, scholarly reviews and papers presented at national and international conferences. He is the recipient of two Provost Research awards at Clemson University (1982, 1996) and three National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships (1987, 1989, 2003).

Kuehn earned his bachelor’s degree in history at Carleton College in 1972 and later earned both his master’s degree (1973) and Ph.D. (1977) in history at the University of Chicago.

“Thomas Kuehn has enhanced the lives of thousands of students, and through his work he has enriched our society,” said Timothy R. Boosinger, interim dean of the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. “His legacy is important to us all, and we wish him the very best in the years to come.”

Kuehn credited Clemson faculty and students for creating a collegial and academically inspiring university experience.

“In my almost four decades here, I was privileged to work with some outstanding people, colleagues and students,” Kuehn said. “To me, as to so many others who spend any time around this University, the dedication of people to Clemson is extraordinary. The institution and the town have changed enormously over the years, most of it for the good and to the greater quality of what we do.”

Robert Silance, Associate Professor Emeritus of Architecture

Robert Silance joined the Clemson architecture faculty in 1988, but his association with the University reaches back 20 years earlier. At Clemson, he earned a bachelor of arts in pre-architecture in 1973 and a Master of Architecture in 1981. In between, he earned a BFA with concentrations in design, photography and ceramics at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Photo of Robert Silance, Associate Professor Emeritus of Architecture
Robert Silance, Associate Professor Emeritus of Architecture. Image Credit: Courtesy of Robert Silance

Silance, a licensed architect and specialist in product and furniture design, taught a wide range of design courses and taught at every studio level. He was resident professor at the University’s Daniel Center for Building Research and Urban Studies in Genoa, Italy, as well as at the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston.

Silance’s designs have been shown in dozens of national and international exhibitions, including the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City. His work also has been published in ID Magazine and Lorenzo Porcelli’s book “International Lighting Design,” among many other publications. Silance has been awarded a Creativity Professorship (2014) and research support grant (2005) by the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.

“Robert Silance’s dedicated service to the School of Architecture is much appreciated,” Interim Dean Boosinger said. “He touched the lives of hundreds if not thousands of students and his work helped shape the world we live in. We wish Robert the very best as he enters a new phase in his life.”

Silance’s longtime interest in the transformation of the rural Southern landscape has resulted in exhibitions of his photography at the University of Richmond Museum in Virginia; St. John’s University in New York City; The New Jersey Center for Visual Art in Summit, New Jersey; and several other major museums.

“Through Rob Silance’s long tenure, his breadth and depth of expertise and creative endeavors, from product design to photography to building code analysis to design, he has informed generations of Clemson architecture students,” said Kate Schwennsen, director of the School of Architecture. “Additionally, he has been a consistent contributor to and caretaker of the school’s exceptional facilities, culture and history, from Lee Hall to the Villa. We will sincerely miss his constant presence in Lee Hall but know that his influence on our people and places will endure.”

Mark Hosler, Associate Professor Emeritus of Music

Mark Hosler arrived at Clemson in 1992 to serve as marching band director/assistant director of bands, a position he held for 10 years.

Photo of Mark Hosler, Associate Professor Emeritus of Music.
Mark Hosler, Associate Professor Emeritus of Music. Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

He has conducted Tiger Band, the Concert Band, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Pep bands, the Jazz Ensemble and the Symphonic Band.

In 2017, Hosler co-founded the University’s first bluegrass ensemble, Tigertown Roots.

“The idea for Tigertown Roots was brought to him by a student, Ryan Wilson, who had a love of bluegrass and thought this would be a great opportunity for students in performing arts and beyond,” said Becky Becker, chair of the performing arts department. “I loved the thought of a place where a student could pursue the creation of a group or a class and find such wonderful support from faculty.

“Mark takes a lot of joy in student success, which is one of the qualities that I admire most about him,” Becker added. “He’s had a long, productive, fulfilling career, and he certainly will be missed.”

Hosler also taught music history and music appreciation courses at Clemson. As a music historian, Hosler has primarily focused on American music history, specifically the roots and evolution of country music. He created the History of Country Music course at Clemson following a research sabbatical in 2002.

“I’ve had a wonderful teaching career, and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Hosler said. “The performing arts faculty and staff, my colleagues in CAAH, the high school teachers and support staff members I’ve served with, and the thousands of students I’ve taught over the past 44 years have all provided me with so many fond memories.”

During his tenure as director, Tiger Band released three recordings: “Eye of the Tiger” “Tiger Rag!” and “Shakin’ the Southland.”

Hosler received all of his degrees from Ohio State University: a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1976, a master’s degree in 1985 and a Ph.D. in 1992.

“The College very much appreciates Mark Hosler’s dedicated service to the performing arts,” Interim Dean Boosinger said. “He has touched the lives of thousands of students, and he has enriched the lives of the Clemson family through his passion for bluegrass music and through his many other contributions. We wish him the very best in the years to come.”

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