May 7, 2006 [LINK]

Dad's final day of teaching

My dear old dad, Dr. Alan L. Clem, has just finished his career as a professor of political science at the University of South Dakota, where he began teaching in 1960. He has been teaching on a part time basis since going into "semi-retirement" a few years ago, mostly political geography. His major field was American politics, especially elections and congressional processes. (He used to work on Capitol Hill, where he met dear departed Mom.) He also taught classes in South Dakota politics, research methods, and classical European diplomacy, using the board game Diplomacy as a teaching tool. His final day of classes was deemed newsworthy enough for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader to include a story about the occasion, written by a former student, David Kranz. Some of the most notable figures who were once his students include Tom Brokaw, the former NBC anchorman, and Larry Pressler, former U.S. senator. The elder Dr. Clem has written a large number of articles on books over the years. The title of one of his books is itself a lesson in civic responsibility that most Americans need to take to heart: The Government That We Deserve.

Well, done, Dad! I hope I can manage to attain a measure of success in the field of academia, one way or another, and carry on your proud legacy.

Chris, Noah, Dad final class cake

Three generations of Clems: Chris, Noah, and Alan. (Photo by Dan Clem.)