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Category Name: From the Colgate Scene
Topic Name: Name that professor
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Costello, Rebecca on March 7, 2008
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  The March Colgate Scene features essays by seven professors on the topic "Why I teach."

Now we want to hear from you.

He taught you English and pardoned your French. She knew when--and when not--to give a lecture. He gave you the confidence to meet his high expectations.

Tell us:
Who was your most influential professor, and why?

Bingham, Michael "Michael" Class of 1975 on May 30, 2008
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  The legendary history prof Douglas (Doc) Reading. As a lecturer he was SPELLBINDING -- guys would try to sneak into his Russian Revolution class just to hear him lecture. I never saw him use a single note, either. If I had a Doc Reading lecture on DVD, I would watch it EVERY DAY. He was a dollar-a-year man who is buried on the Hill -- he gave his whole life to the Gate. Also, his contemporary in the English Dept. Jonathan Kistler and his course on The Novel. He taught me to revere every word. His tests included questions like, 'What happens on page 837 of War & Peace?' Also R.I.P. on the Hill.

on May 30, 2008
Locke, Robert "Bob" Class of 1968 on June 3, 2008
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I couldn't agree with you more. I just got back from my 40th Reunion and I was amazed at how often the name of these two professors came up. I had Kistler for "War and Peace" my freshman year. After visiting St. Petersburg last fall, I decided to reread my copy of "W & P", complete with all my notes and underlinings. As I read it I kept flashing back to his lectures. Needless to say, I enjoyed every moment.
I was also a History major. I took many courses from Doc Reading. I looked forward to every class. Each semester I remember weighing all the hard work and probable low grade vs. the excitement of attending his class. The excitement won every time.
These two professors were without equal.

on June 3, 2008
Rosen Keller (Rosen), Ellen "Ellen" Class of 1984 on July 21, 2008
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  H. Atlee Sproul. His picture, which was once on the cover of the "Maroon", still hangs in my family room. Teaching Contemporary British Drama and all things theatrical, he led a group to London in 1983. I was lucky enough to join him on that trip and also to act under his direction several times in the early '80's. He taught me to reach deep inside myself and look way beyond the words on the page. He taught me to speak so that the very last row can hear. Literally and figuratively, he taught me to be better and stronger and taller than I thought I thought I could be. I carry his lessons with me every time I stand up and speak, to this very day. Sadly, we all lost him to illness much earlier than we should have.

Pepe, Joseph "Joe" Class of 1973 on November 17, 2008
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  I would have to cast my vote for Atlee Sproul and Jonathan Kistler, as others have done, and for many of the same reasons. I learned so much about theatre and acting from Sproul, which I continue to draw upon even now both as an audience member and as someone who has pursued acting as an avocation for nearly my entire life. Similarly, I can hardly read a novel without thinking of Dr. Kistler's great penchant for symbolism and detail. I would also add the name of Joseph Slater, my faculty advisor, who shared his passion for American literature and will always represent the consummate man of letters to me.

on November 17, 2008
Horan, Thomas "Tom" Class of 1976 on January 27, 2009
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  Arnie Sio was the professor who most influenced me. He led the study group to Barbados in 1974 and I was fortunate to be part of it. He developed my interest in studying societies and institutions, and ignited my desire to live and work abroad. He challenged us to contribute more to a society than we took from it. To me that is the difference between a participant and an observer. It’s a thought I have taken with me through life. For the last 27 years I have divided my time between homes in London and Barbados, which is testimony to the impact Professor Sio’s teaching has had on me.