Walter B. Wriston '41

Smith, Nancy

2007

On Wesleyan and Teachers

 

More than half my delegation was killed in the war. We walked from the campus right into the cockpits of the planes. I happened to come back, but no roommate of mine survived.

But they supplied us with some great teachers. If you're lucky, you may have one great teacher in your life. At Wesleyan, we had many. Sigmund Neumann was a fantastic teacher. He'd have house parties, with your dates you'd go down there and you'd wind up at 3 o'clock in the morning arguing about international affairs. He would have his whole living room full. He wrote a book every year of life, and he worked on them every day of his life. As a matter of fact, I was re-reading his the other night.

The other teacher who meant a great deal to me was Wilbert Snow. He taught me to like poetry and the written word. And he never had an advanced degree. He started us out with Robert Service, which horrified his colleagues. He had a way of reciting poems with gusto that made kids like me take an interest. To this day when I read some things, I think of Wilbert Snow.

To me, the definition of a great teacher is somebody who inspires you to read the book after you've graduated.

 
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  • This document was created from the article, "Walter B. Wriston '41," written by Nancy Smith for the Fall 1985 edition of the "Wesleyan: The Wesleyan University Alumnus." The original article is located in MS134.003.025.00007.
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