Hope College April 2013 : Page 14
Faculty Profile Impact H ope College should be very grateful for an overly enthusiastic air-conditioning system in Illinois. Without it, Bill and Maura Reynolds might never have come to Hope. It was the first day of the medieval history class that each was taking while doing graduate work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Bill made the mistake of sitting beneath an AC vent. The blower was so strong that he could hardly hear. The next class period, he selected another seat, and he and Maura, who had never before met, said hello. “My place happened to be next to the desk that Maura sat in, and it just went from there,” Bill said. Recalling his own shyness, he continued, “As I think back, it amazes me that I talked with her. It amazes me that I asked her out on a date. It amazes me even more that she accepted.” Through their work at Hope, Bill and maura reynolds, retiring this year, affect the experience of every student, Bill as dean for the arts and humanities, and maura as director of advising. They are pictured at the Kletz where, even though their roles place them in different locations on campus, they consistently make a point of enjoying lunch together—and not infrequently do some quick schedule planning as they anticipate attending an event at the college in the evening. Two Careers , lasting Neither had any connection to Hope prior to 1971, but Bill’s experience as an undergraduate at Xavier University, where the faculty focused on their students, had inspired him to seek a position at an institution with the same emphasis. His training fit Hope’s need for someone able to teach linguistics as well as intro-level composition and literature courses, a mix that expanded as the years passed. His responsibilities at the college increased as well, and he became chairperson of the department in 1987 and dean A total of three members of the Hope faculty are retiring at the end of the school year: Lynne Hendrix, professor of accountancy (highlighted on the next page); Maura Reynolds, associate professor of Latin and director of advising; and Dr. William Reynolds, dean for the arts and humanities and professor of English. Together, they have served at Hope for a combined 109 years. And so it was that both came to Holland as a young married couple when Bill, his Ph.D. newly completed, joined the English faculty in 1971. Maura, who had previously taught in Illinois, initially took a position teaching Latin in the West Ottawa schools, but a few years later began teaching and holding staff positions at Hope herself. They’re each retiring this year with a combined 80 years of service to the college, Bill currently as dean for the arts and humanities and professor of English, and Maura as associate professor of Latin and director of advising. in 1994, providing leadership during a time of major facilities growth for his division. Being dean is a full-time position, but he’s made a point of continuing to serve in the classroom, team-teaching a course with colleague Dr. Peter Schakel each semester. It helps keep him connected to the reason that he went into higher education, and came to Hope, in the first place. “I’ve missed the joy of teaching, and the lessened interaction with students has been the biggest downside of going to the ‘dark side’ of serving in the administration,” Bill said. Maura was available at exactly the right time for Hope. She had left high-school teaching to care for the couple’s two young daughters, but was able to accommodate part-time roles. Beginning in the 1970s, she worked with the STEP program, directed the Academic Support Center, and also taught Latin. She became director of advising, based in the registrar’s office, alongside her teaching appointment in 1987. It was a new position, designed to enhance the college’s effectiveness in helping students fit their program to their skills and interests, and she works with faculty, students and families alike. It’s not the arc she anticipated when went into teaching, but it’s a 26-year run she cherishes. “I truly believe that I have the best job at Hope College,” Maura said. “I love working with students. I like talking to families—families are interested in what’s best for their students,” she said. “And this office is also a very special place. It’s a great office to work in: lots of give and take; lots of people who put students’ needs first.” Bill and Maura haven’t made definite retirement plans—each is staying focused on the school year first. They’re sure, though, to spend time with their daughters and grandchildren; to be active in their church, St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church, and the community; and to continue to attend events at Hope. Editor’s Note: As a complement to this story, biographical sketches of Bill and Maura Reynolds are featured on Hope’s website. hope.edu/pr/nfhc 14 News News From From Hope Hope College College
Two Careers, Lasting Impact
Bill and Maura Reynolds
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