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Retirement 2014: Miriam Fankhauser

Fall/Winter 2014

As a child, Miriam Fankhauser never had dreamed about teaching in college.

Fankhauser, Associate Professor of English and Humanities in Tiffin University’s School of Arts and Sciences Program spent 41 years as a teacher, including 31 years at TU, and also served as the Humanities chairwoman until last spring.

“I have enjoyed the fellowship and the professional family that I have developed at TU,” she said. “Always, I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy some of the lasting relationships I have built with students.”

“As Humanities Program Chair, I was given the opportunity to develop some culture courses as well as special topics courses in minority literatures and Native American culture that eventually became part of the regular curriculum. These courses allowed me to grow in areas of expertise that I wanted to pursue.”

Fankhauser said being appointed Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences probably was the high point of her career. “The Arts and Sciences faculty developed both the Master of Humanities and the Master of Education during my tenure as Dean of A & S,” she said. “My mentor, Arlene Rahm, and I shared an office for several years,” she said. “From the window of that office, I watched houses come down and dorms and other buildings go up. I watched Tiffin University grow, just as I matured on this job.”

Fankhauser said she remembers with equal fondness Pat Noble, with whom she worked for years.

She said she will always remember Steven Hurwitz, with whom she has built what she believes to be a lasting friendship. Also included on that friendship list is Dr. Bruce Bowlus and Ms. Judy Gardner and I tell Dr. Millar that he has to live longer than I do because he is the only one to know me well enough to give my burial ceremony,” she said.

“I will always be proud of my daughters,” she said, “and my 41 years of teaching—I am pleased with the career I have chosen and served.”

“No doubt what I will miss most is the students and teaching. Teaching and my girls have been my life. However, I have never been bored and I know other doors will open,” she said.

“I need to do some other things– make jewelry and dream catchers, help with the Enchanted Doll Museum, and look after my family. I will not be bored. I suspect I will teach in other ways.”