Thursday, May 28, 2015

He liked the scripts better when they had coffee stains on them.

One of my college professors at Fredonia died yesterday. John P. Malcolm was a gregarious and knowledgeable man. Whether in the classroom or walking about town he always had a kind word to say, and if years had passed since you had seen each other, he did not forget who you were.

When he found out we were moving to Columbus, Ohio State was his Alma Mater, he would always ask if we were going to live in Buckeye Village, which he called "Fertility Acres." Many conversations or lectures you had with him started, “Back in my old days at Ohio State!” He was a good man who is directly responsible for my having a degree.

Here’s the story: when I ‘graduated’ in 1985, my GPA in my minor was not high enough so I did not officially earn a degree. No, I was not the best of students. A couple of years later, my ex-wife asked him, he was Chair of the Communication Department, if he would waive that requirement (all without my knowledge) and allow me to have the degree, which was well within the rules at the time. He did it without hesitation.

My schedule has it that I will most likely be unable to attend any services for him, and that distance makes me sad. Dr. Malcolm leaves behind a loving family, scores of colleagues and the many students who had great respect for him. Rest in Peace Dr. Malcolm, and thank you.

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