John Auld (1940-2012): Historian Remembered for his Commitment to Students, University

One of California State University, Dominguez Hills Department of History’s earliest professors, San Pedro resident John William Auld, passed away on April 8 from complications of dementia. He was 71.

A Midwestern boy, Auld was born Dec. 30, 1940, in Marion, Ohio, and later moved with his family to Bucyrus, Ohio, where he graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1958. He attended The College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1962. In his senior year he received the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship award to pursue graduate education, and was accepted to Stanford University. He earned his master’s degree from Stanford in 1964 and his Ph.D., specializing in British history, in 1970.

Auld joined the faculty of California State University, Dominguez Hills—then-named California State College, Dominguez Hills—in 1968, at the start of only its fourth academic year. Classes were still being conducted on the Watt Campus across Victoria Street from its current location, and enrollment had just exceeded 1,000 students. He retired in 2000.

During his 32 years with the university, he saw much growth to the campus and played an active role in his department—serving as chair for several years—and within the university. He served on the Academic Senate faculty governing body and on various university committees.  But John’s true calling and love was teaching, and he taught not only his specialty, 19th century British history, but also a variety of interdisciplinary courses in the humanities, and even an elementary algebra course in the math department.

“Lois Feuer [professor of English], John and I team-taught an eight-unit linked course on the Renaissance sometime in the early 80s. I remember John’s calmness, competence, and sense of humor as he kept students interested and informed,” said Lyle Smith, emeritus professor of English.

Donald McPhee, emeritus professor of history, first dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and former provost/vice president of academic affairs, fondly remembers the 17 years the two worked together.

“John brought a thoughtful and balanced presence to the department as it grew rapidly in those exciting and sometimes turbulent times,” McPhee said. “Of the images I carry of John Auld from my years as vice president, one of the strongest was his role as a faculty representative on the Council on Programs and Priorities, a university-wide planning and resource allocation body I chaired…. John Auld’s contributions to the unique experiment that is Dominguez Hills are significant and will endure. I am proud to have been his colleague and friend.”

In addition to being on faculty, Auld also held various administrative roles, including assistant to the university president (under President Don Gerth) and coordinator of School Relations.  It was while coordinator of School Relations in the 1980s that he met his wife, Mary Auth, emerita professor of public administration who at the time was the coordinator of the information center. They married in April of 1987.

“John was a kind and gentle soul with a keen mind and an infectious smile,” Auth said. “He loved life, and was I was lucky enough to have shared almost 30 years of mine with him—first as a colleague, then as a friend, and then as his wife. Throughout the years, Dominguez Hills was such an important part of our lives, and we were both devoted to its mission, its students, and the colleagues and friends we were privileged to meet there.

Auld is survived by Mary, and his children from a previous marriage, James Auld and Karen Hatzakis, who spent a lot of their childhood on the CSU Dominguez Hills campus, and granddaughter, Athena Hatzakis.  The family requests donations in his honor go to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Views: 65

Comment

You need to be a member of San Pedro News Pilot to add comments!

Join San Pedro News Pilot

Call (323) 200-9052 to learn more or click here to send an email.

San Pedro Weather

San Pedro News Pilot by email - sign up!

Delivered by FeedBurner

What is the SanPedroNewsPilot.com?

The SanPedroNewsPilot.com is the social network and information outlet for San Pedro.

Want to keep up with the news in San Pedro, become a member.


 

Membership has its privileges!

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.
• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of the new storefront or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

Marlene Bauman posted an event
Thumbnail

RED CAR RALLY! at Red Car Station

August 15, 2015 from 9am to 11am
Join others in San Pedro and Southern California to show support for the Red Car. Tell your friends! The media is invited.Sadly, due to the Sampson Way realignment for Ports of Call, the beloved Red Car is slated for the graveyard after September 27th, 2015. "The fact that the port is finding it difficult to fit the tracks into the Sampson Way Realignment says that it may not come back as it is or at all!"22nd St. & Miner, San Pedro. Across from Crafted, on the East side of Harbor Bl. Park…See More
Saturday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted a blog post

Mary Star's Marina Vitalich Gets One Final Honor From MaxPreps

For one with many accolades, Mary Star High softball pitching legend Marina Vitalich has one more left that she can claim.The 2015 and four-time San Pedro News Pilot Prep Softball Player Of The Year, four-time All-CIF Southern Section selection, three-time Cal-Hi Sports All-State Small Schools selection and four-time Daily…See More
Thursday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street's 2 blog posts were featured
Jul 28
Louise Reichlin shared their blog post on StumbleUpon
Jul 25
Louise Reichlin shared their blog post on Twitter
Jul 25
Louise Reichlin shared their blog post on Facebook
Jul 25
Michael Tipton updated their profile
Jul 25
Michael Tipton posted a status
"Wanting to stay more updated on fun things to do in San Pedro. I dont mean going to the YMCA or renting a movie."
Jul 25

© 2015   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service