Inspirational and influential

My five favorite Madison professors — Paul C. Cline, Anthony Sas, John Stewart, Crystal Theodore and Percy H. Warren
By M. Haskins Coleman III ('64)

While answering the question, “Which professor inspired you?” I made a list of more than a dozen that began with Dr. Percy H. Warren, dean of the college, and one who was always available to students. If we had a conflict with an instructor or a program of study, he listened and helped us get a solution.

Crystal Theodore taught me more about art than she will ever know, even if I did fail her class. John Stewart is one of the most brilliant people I have ever known; he could switch from teaching in one subject field to another and do so as though it were his major area of instruction.

However, the two professors who had the greatest influence on both my education and teaching career were Paul C. Cline and Anthony Sas. These men did not just stand before their students and expound on their lessons. They took their students into the field to learn firsthand the importance of geography, government, history and people. It was through them that I learned to take my classes into the community to become actively involved.

Cline and Sas took us to visit many local, state and federal government agencies. They helped us understand the relationship between the government and the people, taught us that each of us have responsibilities to and expectations of each other, that people are not inherently good, bad, lazy, industrious, rich, poor or down and out. They also introduced us to the traditions of people around the world as we learned about the foods, resources and geography of our ancestors and the lands from which they came.

They also invited us into their homes for discussions or to create better understanding. Sometimes we were invited for a meal, which at times included the spouse of a married student. Always willing to see us whether in their classrooms, offices or homes, these men taught us that earning money is a good thing, while helping others is an achievement of greater value.

In my teaching career, I emulated these men and their methods. They showed us their love of teaching and their desire to help students gain a strong sense of self-respect and self-confidence. I am proud to say that their influence was carried to hundreds of my students.

I believe Cline and Sas represent the quality of Madison educators throughout the years that continues today. I am proud of the education I received from Madison at the feet of such instructors.