Alumni

1940s



Carol Gene English-Brownlee (2000-03-31)

Carol earned an MA in French at KU, in residence from 1942-43 and "always treasured [her] year" here. She benefited from that education in many ways, teaching school (almost 30 years at Sterling College, KS), travel in Europe on numerous occasions, and general cultural improvements. She retired in 1986 and lives in Sterling. She was stationed in France in WW II with the Red Cross, took groups of students to Europe during January terms, and traveled abroad with family and friends. She particularly remembered Professors Carman, Crumrine, and Mahieu (and yes, Carol, you had their names right).


Harry L. Hughes (2000-04-18)

Harry (and his wife, Mary Lou) moved back to Lawrence in the early 90s; I met them through Mattie Crumrine whom we both cared for very much and who befriended them when they first came to KU. In his initial response to the questionnaire, which was brief, he said, "I'm going to send this along to you now, but, I warn you, I want to follow it up with reminiscences of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures [we became a Department of French and Italian in the mid-60s, as Spanish and Portuguese formed a separate department], some anecdotes about personnel, and more information than you want about our adventures after we left KU in 1949!" He did send along a very long "memoir" (two typewritten letters dated June 26, 2000 and June 28, 2000, of seven and nine pages each). I have those letters on file, to be used for the History of the Department, and available for others to read. Harry's KU connection started in 1942 in a French course with Elise Neuenschwander, whom he describes in detail. He goes on to provide rich detail on the university and the department, and specific professors, all very helpful for developing a complete picture of those years. After leaving KU, Harry had a long career with the government, traveling extensively, but always remembering his roots.


Dick Strawn (2000-05-01)

Dick started graduate work at KU in 1944 and kept up his contact with KU throughout his academic career, sending us very good students from Wabash College in Indiana, and remembering his former teachers, such as Mattie Crumrine. He provided me with a number of important details for the History of French Studies, including quick narrative portraits of some of the names you have read above, and changes in the way both language and literature were taught. Just one quote here: "We assistant instructors in 1945 inaugurated Carman's Elementary French [we still have a copy of that in the office], a description of the language not much different from Fraser & Squair's-the bible: all teachers knew the reference numbers of its heading, to jot them in the margins of students' compositions. Along with it, however, we began a language lab and a lab component of the early courses: speaking and hearing joined reading and writing." Dick retired in January 1987.


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