Professor Tony Wolk honored as first PSU faculty member to reach 50 years of service
Author: John Kirkland
Posted: March 3, 2016

Tony Wolk, a professor of English who teaches in Portland State University’s Freshman Inquiry program, still rides his bicycle to work as he has done since 1969. He also bakes his own bread and regularly plays tennis – all factors, he says, that have kept him vibrant throughout a long career at Portland State.

The longest, it turns out. 

Wolk was honored Thursday, March 3, with a 50-year length of service award at PSU. The award is unprecedented; no one has worked at the university longer than Tony Wolk.

The annual length of service ceremony, which honored numerous PSU employees as they reached milestone years, was held from at the Smith Memorial Student Union ballroom.

Wolk came to PSU in 1965 as a professor of Renaissance literature and writing. He broadened his focus to science fiction and once co-taught a class with famous Portland author Ursula K. Le Guin. He is as comfortable teaching Dante as he is teaching science fiction author Philip K. Dick. An avid writer, Wolk is currently at work on his 16th novel.

Since 1993, half of Wolk’s time on campus has been teaching the multi-disciplinary Freshman Inquiry course, which all incoming freshman must take.  Some of his students are the children and grandchildren of students he’s had in the past.  “I’m thrilled I became a teacher,” he says.