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A member of the Tufts faculty for more than three decades, philosopher Hugo Bedau (center) is acknowledged as the leading expert on the death penalty. His book, Death Penalty in America (1964) is considered a watershed in applied ethics and his colleagues call him the "guiding spirit" of the Philosophy Department. Constance Putnam, (far right) his wife, has also pursued the scholar's life with her own brand of unrelenting curiosity. As one of a handful of students in Tufts' Interdisciplinary PhD program, she has become an authority on the "hospice/hemlock debate." Her dissertation explores the historical, philosophical and ethical issues of the "Right to Die" movement. Her most recent book is a biography of the founder of Dartmouth Medical School. She shares her husband's commitment to the abolition of the death penalty and was co-author with him and Michael Radelet of In Spite of Innocence. Tufts has played a significant part in their lives, both separately and together, and it was perhaps appropriate that at Commencement this year both marched. Bedau, 72, joined the procession of faculty for the last time, as he retired this year, while Putnam donned cap and gown to receive a PhD almost eight years in the making. "It's a big Tufts day for us," says Constance, 56. "Hugo is leaving after 33 years and I'm leaving after 8 years. It's a very special event for us." While they are off to London next year for further research, they plan to continue connections with Tufts, where both have contributed so profoundly to the intellectual vitality of the university.



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