Garvis Long, Staff Writer and
Kira Roberts, Layout Editor
Two well-respected professors are retiring from Southern Nazarene University and moving on to other ventures in their life. Howard Culbertson and Dorothy Stasser are excited about their life after teaching and are enjoying their final days as employees of the school they have helped build into a great learning institution.
According to campus news on the SNU website, Dr. Culbertson is a graduate of this school, a 15-year missionary veteran, and has been teaching missions at SNU for 25 years. He has taught courses in missions, anthropology, linguistics, the expansion of Christianity and World religions as well as many others.
President Loren Gresham said, “Our valued colleague, Dr. Howard Culbertson, will soon retire from full-time teaching. Through the more than two decades he has served here, he has been one of the most charismatic and committed professors in our School of Theology and Ministry. I have no doubt that he will find ways to continue serving the Kingdom and God’s people in ways He leads him. I can’t adequately express my gratitude and that of the university for his faithful service. We wish him the best that God has for him and Barbara in the years ahead.”
Culbertson expressed that among the things he will miss the most about SNU is eating in the cafeteria and the camaraderie with students. Stasser also said that she would miss the people, students in particular.
Culbertson said, “the best part about teaching is the sense that I’m a part of people’s journey in life.”
Similarly, Stasser said that her favorite part of teaching is “getting to be with people who like to discuss ideas, and being around people who have ideas that you never thought of before.”
As far as a plan for post-retirement, these two professor’s ideas differ completely. Culbertson said, “I want to take control of my schedule, let my wife see the leaves turn color in New England, travel to Ecuador to work on my Spanish as part of the semester abroad program, spend more time with my family, and catch up on jobs for my wife.”
Stasser’s idea of retirement looks quite a bit different. “I want to do as little as possible. I’m going to travel to my farm and pretty much stay there,” she said.
According to the professors, students enjoy seeing theirprofessor learn along with them. Culbertson said that you can’t always predict a student’s life through school. He believes that SNU should require students to have a cross-cultural experience while Stasser wishes that everyone could get a vision of what this place could be and really make that vision come to life.
When asked what they would miss about SNU, Culbertson said, “world religion, history missions, experiences, field trips, and people’s stories,” while Stasser said, “so many good things I can’t express them all; it feels like family.”