When Cochise College began planning its 50th anniversary celebration, it didn’t have to look further than the Internet for ideas. Despite having reams of potential opportunities and quirky ways to draw attention to its golden anniversary, the college couldn’t have predicted the organic nature in which its plans would actually develop.
A prime example of a small idea that’s turning into a fabulous addition to our plans is an author’s signing planned for 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Sierra Vista Campus and Sept. 23 at the Douglas Campus. The signing, which is now likely to also include a reading, features published authors who are former or current faculty members, and Cochise College alumni.
How many of those could there be? Well, we’ve been in touch with numerous, and there are probably more than we know of at this point. But the concept came from former faculty member Allan Meyer, who taught in the humanities for about 23 years, beginning in 1970. Now a resident of Oro Valley, Allan has recently published his second book, “A Dog’s Choice,” and has kept up with several “published” colleagues over the years.
Among those who have been invited are Dr. Joe Gilliland, a founding member of the faculty who is working on his memoirs; Howard DeWitt, who taught history and has penned many books about pop culture; Leslie Clark, who retired from the English faculty and continues to publish the online poetry journal “Voices on the Wind;” Dick Atkinson, former baseball coach and pro golfer, who recently published “Golf: Short Stories;” and alumni historians Annie Graeme Larkin (’03) and Cindy Hayostek (’72), who’ve authored books about the histories of Bisbee and Douglas, respectively.
Current faculty who are expected to participate include Jay Treiber, who recently published “Spirit Walk”, a novel set in the Douglas area about a college professor’s return to the scene of an adolescent lapse in judgment that has shaped his life, and Dr. Clyne Namuo, whose “Community College Strategy: The Innovative Leader’s HandbooK” is based on doctoral research about how college leaders facilitate innovation and strategic behavior despite reduced financial resources.
Some say writing is a skill in decline, difficult to acquire and trying on one’s patience. But for every statement about its suffering, there is an article about the thriving, if changing, publishing industry. In the college environment, I can’t turn a corner without running into a bookworm (the person who so adroitly helps me with this column among them!), and it’s nice to know that our published faculty aren’t people who just know grammar, but individuals who have the ability to shape a compelling story.
Many an avid reader will be pleased to know that 1) you can meet these authors in September and stick around for special anniversary performances by Twist & Shout: The Definitive Beatles Experience, and 2) you can also support the success of students at Cochise College by making purchases – of books and other items – through the Amazon Smile program, now contributing a percentage of qualifying purchases to the Cochise College Foundation.
How smart is that!
J.D. Rottweiler is president of Cochise College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.