Tributes to Faculty and Staff
When alumni reminisce with each other about their Geneva College experiences, the positive influence that faculty or staff members had on their lives is often a common thread of conversation. Many recall a professor who helped them understand challenging concepts in the classroom or explained the biblical perspective of the subject they were studying. Others remember a staff member who prayed with them or invited them to a home-cooked meal.
Dr. Ann Paton and Professor John Mitchell are two professors who are frequently mentioned during these conversations. They touched the lives of many Geneva students during their combined 70 years of service and, although both are now retired, each lives close to the college and remains strongly connected to the campus community. The bonds that were formed during their careers at Geneva have extended into their retirement years.
Dr. Paton retired in 1994 following 38 years of teaching students the history of the English language, humanities, Shakespeare and more. She now enjoys sharing a cup of coffee and a conversation in the sitting room of Fern Cliffe or among the literature she loves in McCartney Library. Her volunteer work includes leading retreats and serving as a spiritual director to her congregation at Pittsburgh′s Church of the Ascension, as well as some of her former students from Geneva. Regarding those relationships, Dr. Paton says, “There are a number of alumni who keep in touch with me, especially with Christmas letters and on Facebook. One of my great joys is to see former students now members of the Geneva faculty and staff.”
Professor John Mitchell spent 35 years teaching students the credits and debits of accounting and how they can be used to make wise and ethical business decisions. Following his retirement in 1995, he has been fulfilling his love of seeing new places by traveling the world. He has been to all seven continents, visiting 60 countries so far–and he is still adding to the list. In addition, Professor Mitchell served on Geneva′s Board of Trustees, serves on the Reformed Presbyterian Home board, and organizes the archives of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. In his spare time, he works on his 1863 Civil War-era house in nearby Volant.
When Professor Mitchell and Dr. Paton were recently asked to share a favorite memory from their years at Geneva, they both found it difficult to identify a singular experience. Dr. Mitchell responded, “Meeting many fine students over the years, and the joy in seeing what they have done with their lives.” Similarly, Dr. Paton said, “There are particular moments of epiphanies in classrooms, as well as the exciting and important work of both helping create and teaching the humanities courses.”
God has blessed Geneva with many respected, caring and committed faculty members throughout its 163-year history. They are the reason that a Geneva education is valued and life changing. Exceptionally educated, devoted and professional faculty make Geneva's education distinctive both in academic excellence that stands out from peer institutions and in the strong integration of faith in their respective disciplines.
If you would like to share a memory, note of appreciation or thought with the Geneva community regarding a professor or staff member who made a positive and lasting impression on your life, please click here.
Upcoming alumni dates to remember:
"You can tell that [professors] really care about us and want us to grow."
Lindsay York, music education major
Click here to read Lindsay's profile.
Geneva's baseball and softball teams will head to FL over spring break to open their seasons.
The choir will be visiting churches and schools in Ohio, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Iowa and Indiana.
Over spring break, 30 students are going to Aliquippa, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.
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