6/9/2010 - Longtime Psychology professor to retire
Judson Spotlight On...
Long-time Judson College psychology professor, Dr. Jack Fowler, has decided to hang up his mortar board. Fowler will retire at the end of this summer after 44 years of teaching at the college.
"(Professor of chemistry Dr.) George Williams allegedly arrived on campus about 30 minutes before I did in 1966," Fowler said. "So we've had a good time arguing over the years about which of us had the longest tenure!"
Fowler, a native of Panola, Ala., majored in English and earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education at Livingston State Teacher's College, now known as the University of West Alabama. He then served two years in the U.S. Army, spending part of his enlistment at Beale Air Force Base in Marysville, Calif. where his wife, Maxine, taught fourth grade, and at Ft. McArthur Army Base in San Pedro where their oldest child was born.
Returning to his native state, Fowler earned his master's degree at the University of Alabama and then taught English for six years at Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery.
Returning to UA, Fowler earned his doctorate in educational psychology and counseling.
When asked what he told students about the value of studying psychology, Fowler said that it's a tool to help people better understand themselves.
"The old adage is 'know thyself,' and psychology helps with this," he said. "It allows us to be aware of our values and limitations. We can know who we are and where we can go. I've always found this personally gratifying."
Fowler won both classroom excellence in teaching awards at the college--the Lula and Alton Holley Award in 1987 and Mary Gibson Thompson Award twice.
Fowler said he spent a lot of time at Judson offering advice and counsel to students.
"I couldn't get out of counseling, and sometimes had to shut the door and go home!" he said with a laugh. "There were a lot of folks who needed structure here and there. I was busy with many duties, but I did all I could to help my students and others."
Many students talk about Fowler's kindness and encouragement to them in and out of the classroom.
Judson graduate Vicki Griffith Bennett ('80) of Suttle said that Fowler remains her favorite professor. Bennett majored in psychology and sociology at Judson and now works as director of social services at the Bibb Medical Center Nursing Home and Hospital in Centreville.
"He was a great teacher and so nice to me as a transfer student," she said. "He made me feel important. Whenever I see him he always refers to me as one of his girls. I think he's a neat fellow."
Fowler fulfilled a number of administrative duties in addition to teaching. He served as chair for the department of behavioral science from 1966-2004, chair for the social science division from 1968-2004 and was the interim academic dean in 1993-94.
The Fowlers are members of Siloam Baptist Church in Marion where they worked in Sunday School for many years with Judson and Marion Military Institute college groups. Jack Fowler also served as deacon, on various committees and in the sanctuary choir.
A resolution presented by the president and Board of Trustees on May 6 noted, "we acknowledge our gratitude for the contributions of Jack Fowler to the life of the college, our sense of loss at his departure and our best wishes to him and his wife, Maxine, as he retires to devote more time to family and friends."
Photo Cutline: Dr. Jack Fowler pictured with wife Maxine. Photo by Bill Mathews.
* Article courtesy of the Judson College Public Relations Department.