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: 83

Comment

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

Join San Pedro News Pilot

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

Bernardo Alps's event was featured
Thumbnail

Studying the Desert Dolphins: Namibian Dolphin Project Internship at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

June 27, 2017 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Studying the Desert Dolphins: Namibian Dolphin Project Internship by Nico Heyning, University of Puget Sound Halfway around the world, the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP) studies whales, dolphins and sea turtles in the South Atlantic, out of Walvis Bay, Namibia. Leaving Mira Costa High School three weeks before prom and graduation, Nico Heyning boarded a plane for a six-week internship studying the biology and conservation of bottlenose and Heaviside dolphins with the NDP. He is the youngest…See More
1 hour ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post 2016-2017 San Pedro Prep Sports Teams Of The Year
Friday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted blog posts
Friday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post 2016-2017 San Pedro Prep Sports Athletes Of The Year
Friday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted videos
Friday
M.Ferralles posted photos
Wednesday
M.Ferralles updated their profile
Wednesday
Bernardo Alps posted an event
Thumbnail

Studying the Desert Dolphins: Namibian Dolphin Project Internship at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

June 27, 2017 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Studying the Desert Dolphins: Namibian Dolphin Project Internship by Nico Heyning, University of Puget Sound Halfway around the world, the Namibian Dolphin Project (NDP) studies whales, dolphins and sea turtles in the South Atlantic, out of Walvis Bay, Namibia. Leaving Mira Costa High School three weeks before prom and graduation, Nico Heyning boarded a plane for a six-week internship studying the biology and conservation of bottlenose and Heaviside dolphins with the NDP. He is the youngest…See More
Jun 19

© 2017   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service