Jessie M. Jones-Cobb (at KU: Jessie M. Lemon) (2000-04-03)

Jessie earned her MA here the year of the fall of France, "not a good time for travel." (She mentioned that in her reply to the "Study Abroad" section of the questionnaire, which I foolishly intended for KU programs, forgetting that we did not have any formal KU programs until long after many of our alumni studied here.) She taught HS in Sedan between her BA and MA, then taught at Shawnee Mission Rural HS [yes, rural!]. Taught another year in Wm Penn College, Oskaloosa, IA, then moved to Massachusetts and taught English, Speech and Debate and studied part time for EdM in Guidance and Counseling, later also studied for a certificate in Special Ed. When she wrote, she was leading a French-speaking group among residents of the Retirement Community in which she resided. She has 2 adult daughters and 5 grand-children. As a senior in 1937-38, she was employed as secretary of the department. She wrote her MA thesis under the direction of J. Neale Carman, and M. Mahieu was another professor she recalled. "I also taught one year in the KU English Department, an indication, I'm afraid, of the painful shortage of appropriately trained instructors at the time." [Note that was 1946-47, first year of the "GIBill invasion."]

Robert Pyle (2000-04-12)

Robert earned his MA in French at KU in 1940 and was an instructor here from 1940-42. He considers it a claim to fame that he was both a student and instructor at both KU and K-State. He goes on: "I was in the last French play put on in Fraser Hall, playing Harpagon, at age 18. Although I was tutored for a month by Eugénie Galloo, it was far from a success. I also set a new record for memorizing La Fontaine's Fables for Elise Neunschwander!" [The good old days when students had to memorize long passages...] He joined the FBI as a translator and later became a special agent, working in Washington and abroad. In 1944 he married another translator and in 57 he completed a PhD at Columbia University, then in 1965 went to Cal State U at Chico as chair. "In 1988 I wrote a rimed poem re: KU, going back to Kate Stephens and José Osma, with emphasis on the French staff: Mahieu, Galloo, Carman, Cornell, etc. Also vignettes re: Ise, Wheelen, the Med School (my sister got an MD at KU and went on to the Mayo Clinic). This magnum opus is called 'Halcyon Days.' I printed about a hundred copies and sent it to classmates." After Robert's sister died, copies of this memoir were found and placed in the KU Archives. He also enclosed an abridged version for our files. He adds to our knowledge of the war days: had to teach German with just one course in German under his belt; also taught Spanish and French I, as well as English to German refugees. Also mentioned that Neale Carman was made head of a war-time housing project. Clearly, he did his work in our old Romance Language Department, as seen by his MA thesis (yes, thesis!) in which he made an "effort to show how Galdos was influenced by Balzac." Bill Shoemaker (in Spanish, and once chair of RL&L) kept encouraging him to expand the thesis. A task left undone.

Julie Rehg-Stoner (2000-06-02)

Julie was interested to know that we now have overseas programs and wishes that we had had them when she was here. Her daughter, who majored in music, but took French, lived a whole year in the French House [we have never been able to start one here, for lack of support from the administration] at Whitman College. When she participated later in a music program in Germany, Julie joined her and they traveled in France, visiting chateaux and cathedrals. Mieux vaut tard que jamais. Her memories: "When I was there, Elise Neuenschwander was the éminence grise of the department, while Miss Galloo was still a formidable presence in the minds of those who knew her. Though retired, she was known to whip the annual French play into shape in time for production-Mattie Crumrine (who could have been a fashion model) used phonetic symbols to drill into us correct French pronunciation. [Those of us who knew Mattie in her later years are not surprised at the statement about a fashion model.] Ameda Stanton was another dedicated teacher-she died soon after I finished. M. Mahieu was a dear, as well as Mr. Carman. I still remember their gentle guidance."

Sally Salatheil-Cornell (2000-04-28)

I'll quote in entirety: "I go back to the time of Miss Galloo and Miss Neuenschwander and Mr. Carman and, of course, Kenneth Cornell [whom she married]. Kenneth got his PhD at Yale and began teaching there and continued till he retired. Yale gave professors every third year off with full salary so we did a great deal of traveling: India, Iran, Cambodia, Thailand, and so on. We also spent a year in France and travelled in Spain, Germany and Italy. During WWII, Kenneth was stationed in Italy and was useful to the army by speaking Italian."

Merle E. Simmons

No information available.

Jean Stephenson-Maynard (2000-04-02)

Jean not only earned an MA in French here, but also an MA in English at the University of Michigan. Again I'll quote the memories' entry: "Having graduated over 60 years ago, I fear I have not much to offer you. I expected to go to the Sorbonne after receiving a Masters in French lit but the war intervened. My complaint is the failure of the French Dept in the thirties to offer enough conversational French. I have enjoyed the literary offerings which still remain with me. Having three bilingual French grandchildren I do miss being socially conversant in French!! Elise Neuenschwander taught me. Born in 1869 she lived to 101 as I remember. An unforgetable person. Fraser Hall, long since gone [tragically], was my habitat.'


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