Texas Wesleyan honored four professors at a retirement party held at Lou’s place on Wednesday afternoon.
Kit Hall, Dr. John Hall, Dr. Ibrahim Salih, and Dr. Jane Moore were all honored; Moore and Salih have been at Wesleyan for more than 50 years.
Moore has been a Texas Wesleyan professor for the past 54 years and will be retiring this spring. She said her family was a big contributor to her teaching at Wesleyan.
“My family lives here, my husband was a Texan and that’s why I came to Texas Wesleyan,” she said. “Family was a big reason because it would not be feasible to move.”
Moore grew up in a small town in Iowa so the move to Texas was a fairly big change.
“I am from a little town just outside of Des Moines, Iowa, Mitchellville, which is a small farming community and I grew up there,” she said.
Moore said her journey continued when she decided to go and get her college degree.
“I went to Drake University and got my bachelor’s degree in math,” she said. “I then went to the University of Minnesota and got my master’s degree.”
Moore said that technology has been the biggest change since she first came to Texas Wesleyan.
“When I came there were no computers; I came in the fall of 1965,” she said. “The technology itself and the technology in the classroom.”
Moore said that she didn’t really think about why she stayed so long at Wesleyan and that it just kind of happened.
“I enjoyed my work and my family was happy,” she said. “I never really considered it, and everything was good, so we are just here a little over 50 years later.”
Moore said that she has two programs that she works with as well.
“I have two outreach programs called Expanding your Horizons for middle school girls and TexPREP for seventh-10th graders and is a six-week program,” she said. “Those two things have been important for me and Texas Wesleyan because it’s a message for the community that Texas Wesleyan is concerned and part of the community.”
Moore said that she has some plans for the future once she retires this spring.
“I have five grandchildren so I will do grandchildren; I am active in the church so I will do volunteer work, and we will probably travel a little bit,” she said.
Moore said that the students are what she will remember most about her time at Wesleyan.
“It’s really neat when a student comes back and says, ‘Well, maybe you were hard, but I know why, and I was successful because of Texas Wesleyan and because of what you taught me with my math,’”’ she said.
Moore said that she has enjoyed her time at Wesleyan and that the people here made it worth staying.
“The students have always been good to work with, the faculty and everybody,” she said. “The years just kind of went by.”
Dr. Yukong Zhang has worked close to Moore during her time here and said she had a large impact on the university.
“Dr. Moore is known as a math professor with high expectations for students, but she is also a caring professor,” he said.
Zhang said that the amount of time that she has put in for students is quite remarkable.
“She spent countless hours in helping students who struggle in mathematics both outside classroom and during math labs,” he said. “Her passion for teaching is inspirational to other faculty members.”
Salih has also put in a lot of time at Texas Wesleyan and will retire this spring after teaching for 51 years. He said that he is not originally from America but came here to follow his education.
“I come from the island of Cypress, which is close to Turkey and Syria,” he said. “I was interested in pursuing my education, so I applied to a school in California and they accepted me, so I arrived in 1959.”
Salih said that he wished to further his education, so he went on in hopes of pursuing it.
“After I received my B.A. I went to Washington, D.C. to study for my M.A. and Ph.D at the American University in Washington D.C.,” he said. “After I completed my studies I was looking for a job and I had applied for a position at different universities.”
Salih said that while his goal was to migrate back to California, his plans seemed to change.
“I had a friend who was teaching at Texas Wesleyan who graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “He asked me if I was interested in coming to Texas to teach, well, despite the opposition of some of my friends I came to teach at Wesleyan in 1968.”
Salih said that this was something that he did not expect, and he thought it would be temporary.
“My intention was to move on to California because my wife was from California and I like California and studied there,” he said. “After having kids, they started making friends and didn’t want to move so I postponed it until 51 years later and now I’m still here.”
Salih said that he has watched the university change greatly from when he first started here.
“The school has changed dramatically; when I came here the student population was much bigger than it is now,” he said. “We had a lot of students but after the Vietnam War the number of students dropped.
“When I came here we had a lot of temporary buildings and this school gradually started to get endowment and we started to build. We have expanded right now, and I hope that this school will continue to expand. We have more trees, grass, dormitories, and classrooms.”
Salih said that one person in particular is responsible for him coming to Wesleyan.
“I stayed here because I was hired by Junghoon Song, which everybody admires, and he was much interested in the welfare of the faculty and the students,” he said. “The administration was forthcoming in respect to my desire to participate in conferences and my writing and since they were supportive in my academic endeavors I decided to stay.”
Salih said that as his life continued, the plans that he always thought would come true turned out different than he expected.
“I started to along with my family we started to make friends with the faculty and the students, and we decided that maybe Texas is where we should stay,” he said. “I am happy to say that I am very happy with my experiences with Texas Wesleyan.”
Salih said that traveling will be a big part of his retirement and he is not sure what else will come along.
“I intend to travel; I love traveling and I took students to many parts of the world,” he said. “I intend to travel to Europe, China, and I would love to be in the Caribbean.”