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Professor’s Pooches: Pepper

Written by Gabe Delabra ’17 and Ben Horwitz ’17.

As part of a new Clerk series on professors and their dogs on campus, “Professor’s Pooches,” we would like to introduce our first PhD and Pup pair— John C. Whitehead Professor of Humanities Richard Freedman and his dog, Pepper. We recently caught up with Professor Freedman on the steps of Founders Hall.


Pepper, likely an Australian Shepherd mix, was rescued by the Freedman family 12 year ago from the Francisvale Home for Small Animals in Rosemont, a no-kill rescue shelter.

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Professor Freedman and Pepper

“She has been a great part of our family ever since,” said Freedman.

At 15 years old, Pepper shows no sign of her age despite being undoubtedly one of the older canines roaming campus on her routine walks. Pepper hasn’t lost too many steps with age, but an incident with a Holly tree several years ago threatened her health.

“Her vision was saved by a Haverford alumnus, Dr. Stephen Gross, who is, believe it or not, a canine ophthalmologist,” said Freedman.

In her younger days, Pepper was a regular on the Nature Trail, and was not afraid to chase the local geese. Recently, she has shifted her focus to the outskirts of the Duck Pond, and observing the deer and foxes that occasionally leave the woods.

“She is a sweet, goofy dog, and always interested to meet people,” described Freedman.


Professor Freedman has been teaching and living at Haverford for over 29 years, where he is the John C. Whitehead Professor of Humanities. According to Freedman, his recent projects have been centered on the use of “new digital tools for the study of music — building web sites, databases, and other resources.”

The projects developed by Professor Freedman are multifaceted in nature, and include students and scholars from all over the world. He has remained committed to the importance of an international collaboration, and he is often in France for his own collaboration with the CESR (Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance)  in Tours, a center devoted to the study of the culture of the Renaissance.

Professor Freedman has also been an essential part of the music community in Philadelphia, where he has been, “a regular pre-concert lecturer” at the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Chamber Music Society of Philadelphia.

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