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Letters: Winter 2007
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: February 8, 2007

Remembering a dynamic teacher

Thank you for printing Tania Thompson's article about he dad, retired history professor Basil Mdytryshyn. It stirred fond memories for me.

I took History 102 from Professor Dmytryshyn during winter term 1964. He was a dynamic, stimulating teacher, who stood out among a stellar history faculty that included such luminaries as Charley White, Fred Cox, George Carbone, and Jon Mandaville. I had a 30-minute commute for Basil's class, which I think met at 7:00 a.m.! He captured our attention even at that dark hour.

Mark Adams '67
Gig Harbor, Washington

Influence led me to become a professor

I enjoyed the article on Dr. Basil Dmytryshyn, and I remember him well.

My first term at Portland State was winter 1958. From a small Easter Oregon high school, I was totally intimidated by college and professors with Ph.D.s.

I enrolled in Western Civilization with Dr. Dmytryshyn and sat with all my Korean vet buddies listening to his lectures with my jaw dropped because of his compelling delivery. He knew more about Western history than anyone ever could. I couldn't get enough of the books and essays he suggested. Midterm time was another issue. I was sure I had failed.

When he returned the exam a week later, I had received an A- and some trenchant remarks about my essays that pushed me to excellence. I ended up taking five more history classes from him. I eventually became a college professsor partly because of the influence of scholars like him and their gentle encouragement.

James O'Brien '61
Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona