Al Demmin '50

I was discharged from the US Army on July 3, 1946. It was an early Independence Day! Mother had earlier checked with the Mission House Office about any openings in Jubilee Men's Dorm, found that a few were available and I was lucky enough to get one. I enrolled in classes the first week of September. There were about 180 in the freshman class (and maybe 13 sophomores!) The dorm was crowded--three guys in double rooms, four guys in the few triple rooms. My two roommates were fellow classmates from Sheboygan Central's class of 1944. They dropped out at the semester, along with a goodly number of the rest of the frosh. Two new roommates in good old room 303 lasted the first six weeks of the 2nd semester. Another frosh, Don Rowlands, then moved in with me and we stayed roommates for the next 3 years. We were friends for many years thereafter.

At the big universities, you probably get to know just a few of the students in your classes, maybe more in your major classes. At MHC, one got to know nearly everybody in the whole student body and most of us made friends who we kept for a lifetime. That is the greatest thing about a small school, I think.

We mostly had good instructors. My math major prof, Carroll (Tony) Rusch was a role model for me in my 40 years of teaching high school mathematics. Prof. Bill Welti was another good one, as was a younger associate, Paul Knipping. (All gone, unfortunately.) The Education area prof left much to be desired, so most of us learned on the job later.

The food service, which was family style during our first year, wasn't all that great. In the following years, a cafeteria-style service was set up and Mrs. Bessie Jenkin really did a fine job of getting us fed with good wholesome meals.

Of the 180 or so freshmen in the fall of 1946, I think 50 of us stayed the course and graduated in June 1950. (Sadly, our numbers have dwindled greatly over the years.) A number went into the teaching field and I would see some of them from time to time at conventions, etc. After graduation, I spent a year at UW-Madison before taking a position teaching at the (now-defunct) Northwestern Military and Naval Academy in Lake Geneva. I taught there three years, got my M.S. in math education in 1954 and took a position teaching mathematics at Middleton High School, near Madison. I taught there for 37 years and retired in 1991.

The best thing I remember about my college days was just the family atmosphere on campus. The friendships made and the education received really made a mark on my life.



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