Jesse asked:

Why did Lomax organize that party?

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Stephen Ground My opinion is that it was a power play in several ways. First and foremost, Lomax is fulfilling the promise he made to Stoner. He offered the promotion to convince Stoner to retire on his (Lomax's) schedule, and when Stoner ultimately did, he fulfilled his promise (p. 260 mentions his certainty that Stoner was doing this because or him, and his concession that he gave Stoner his word.)

More importantly, it makes Lomax look good. As the department chair, it makes him look respectful to honor the department's longest serving member, especially since it was fairly common knowledge that he and Stoner were in a feud. It was a power play, meant to show that he always had control over Stoner, and meant to make him look good to the campus. That's my theory, anyway.
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