Professors retire, but the learning continues
During his four decades as a faculty member at St. Olaf College, Jim May P ’06, ’08 led students on 12 study abroad programs in Greece and sometimes also Italy. During that same time — and now as a professor emeritus of Classics — May has led 17 Alumni & Family Travel programs in Greece and the Mediterranean.
He’s a firm believer in the experiential aspect of learning.
“For anyone interested in the history, art, or material culture of another country or civilization, study travel is a virtual necessity,” May says. “Viewing the Parthenon while standing on the Acropolis, for example, or walking where Socrates taught, or exploring the plain of Marathon, where the Athenians turned back the Persian invasion, cannot be replicated by reading historical accounts or viewing websites on the internet. For more than 40 years I have been privileged to witness the transformative effects that study travel exerts on people’s lives. Leading student, alumni and family travel programs has been one of the highlights of my teaching career; I have not only been able to share my knowledge of love of the Mediterranean, but have learned an enormous amount from my fellow travelers.”
“Viewing the Parthenon while standing on the Acropolis, or walking where Socrates taught, or exploring the plain of Marathon, where the Athenians turned back the Persian invasion, cannot be replicated by reading historical accounts or viewing websites on the internet.” — Jim May
Other recently retired St. Olaf faculty who are leading trips for alumni and families include Professor Emeritus of Religion John Barbour, Professor Emerita of Art and Art History Meg Ojala, Professor Emeritus of Biology Ted Johnson P ’96, Medical Technologist Michelle Johnson P ’96, Professor Emerita of English Diana Postlethwaite, Professor Emerita of Art and Art History Mary Griep P ’12, Professor Emerita of Romance Languages Wendy Allen, and Retired College Pastor Bruce Benson P ’95, ’00.
Many of these retired faculty and staff already have a loyal following among alumni and parents. For example, Paul ’61 and Jan Wicklund P ’87, ’94 have traveled in Greece and other Mediterranean countries with Jim and Donna May 16 times.
In addition, current professors share their knowledge beyond the classroom and often lead Alumni & Family Travel, too. Associate Professor of Education Elizabeth Leer P ’22 and Associate Professor of Political Science and Asian Studies Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak P ’19 are examples of two current faculty who have crafted an Alumni Travel program based on the Interims they lead for students.
Learn more about St. Olaf Alumni & Family Travel on the program page.