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HCC faculty, former colleagues gather for reunion

April 30, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - A man of numbers, math instructor Marvin Shubert said he was wondering how many students he has taught during more than three decades at Hagerstown Junior and Community colleges.

The formula wasn't hard, but the results were staggering.

About 14,200 individuals, he figures.

"Totaled, I thought that's a pretty good-sized town that I had," Shubert said.

When he retires this summer, Shubert will join the college's faculty alumni. He and some of his former colleagues gathered Sunday for a faculty reunion that drew about 40 current and retired professors and their spouses.

Harold Boyer, who studied at the college when it was Hagerstown Junior College, said the advice of a guidance counselor, who told him he wouldn't make it as a teacher, egged him on. Boyer went on to teach geography and political science at his alma mater.

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A self-described "country hick," Boyer said his professors at Hagerstown Junior College inspired him to become a teacher. When the first classes started 60 years ago, the college was geared toward returning soldiers, but Boyer said, "I was one of these students that I think the college was founded for."

An uninspired student in high school, Boyer said his professors supported and motivated him.

"It's just a wonderful place, and anyone who has spent any time here knows that to be true," said Marlys Palmer, a health and physical education professor and coach.

When she first joined the staff, Palmer said she was awed by the scholarship of her colleagues, and she was regarded as a "jockstrap." But, athletics, she realized, is "the best blend that you can have of students who also participate in a sport."

"This has literally been a foundation stone of my life," Palmer said.

Shubert said he doesn't know how he'll feel when fall comes and he isn't in the classroom. Though he said students are less focused now on their educations, Shubert said he still finds satisfaction in teaching.

Like some of his colleagues, Shubert said he has most enjoyed his students.

"Particularly in math, they think, 'I can't do it,' and by the end of the semester, they think, 'Wait, I can do this,'" Shubert said.

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