Most people in our community know who Peter Likins is…….He is the President Emeritus from the University of Arizona, but details on his family life are less public. By most accounts, President Likins had a successful life. But his personal accomplishments are only the backdrop for the real story - the story of his family, whose trials and triumphs hold lessons for many American families in the 21st century.
According the the University of Arizona Press, “The poignant, but ultimately empowering memoir tells the story of Peter Likins, his wife Patricia, and the six children they adopted in the 1960′s, building a family beset by challenges that ultimately strengthened all bonds. With issues such as inter-racial adopton, mental illness, drug addition, unwed pregnancy, and homosexuality entwined in their lives, the tale isn’t just a famlly memoir-it’s a story of the American experience, a memoir with a message. With circumstances of race, age, and health making all their children vitually unadoptable by 1960′s standards, Pat and Pete never strayed from the belief that loyalty and love could build a strong family.
Both Pete and Pat have served as teachers, and Pete’s long academic career-holding positions as a professor, dean, provost and then president illuminates more than just his personal success. Pete’s professisonal attainments produce a context for his family story, wherein high achievments in education, athletic, and financial terms coexist with the joys and sorrows of this exceptional family.
A frank, open account of the difficulties his family faced, this is a brave story, told with unflinching honesty and remarkable compassion. The New American Family is a wonderful narrative of the genesis of a family and a journey to the deepest parts of a father’s heart.”
The University of Arizona Press will publish the book in March 2011 and you can order copies by contacting them at 1-800-426-3797 or by visiting the website at: www.uapress.arizona.edu