OGDEN — Weber State University is saying goodbye to four professors who have logged 176 combined years teaching at the institution.

All from the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Rosemary Conover (anthropology), LaRae Larkin (history), Richard Sadler (history) and T.R. Reddy (political science) are retiring this semester.

“All four of our retirees helped shape the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences into what it is today and for that we are grateful,” Dean Frank Harrold said. “The loss of their combined 176 years of knowledge, experience and wisdom is a very real one for the college.”

The four have been the subject of some honorary programs in the past few weeks.

Speaking at one of these occasions, Eric Amsel, associate provost at the college, shared information given to him from many sources for the event.

“They are a remarkable group of faculty who have contributed to Weber State for a long time and in so many ways,” Amsel said in his talk. “Despite their retirements, so much of who we are and what they contributed will remain and be part of the institution and our future.”

For example, Amsel said Reddy, who started at WSU 52 years ago in 1966, is an innovator who was among the first to embrace the internet and education that goes beyond the normal classroom experience.

Story continues below photo.

T.R. Reddy

Dr. T.R. Reddy is retiring as a political science professor at Weber State University after 52 years of service at the institution.

He helped to grow WSU Online when it was taking its first steps, Amsel said. “The 20-year anniversary of WSU Online is a continuing testament to his impact.”

An early adviser for WSU’s Model United Nations and a liaison for the university’s Peace Corps, Amsel said WSU has a culture of enriching educational experiences largely because of Reddy.

Story continues below photo.

Richard Saddler teaching

While WSU History Professor Richard Sadler was on sabbatical this past semester, this photo shows him instructing a class during a recent semester.

Sadler, who has been at WSU for 49 years, has influenced the university for good because of his scholarship, Amsel said.

“That helped make sure that Weber State was a home of serious academics, which erased the label ‘Harrison High,’ a major issue years ago,” Amsel said. “His own scholarship in telling the history of Ogden City, Weber County and Weber State has been impactful locally.”

Sadler was behind a series of trips the university opened to the community for highlighting Utah and American history, Amsel said.

Story continues below photo.

Rosemary Conover on location

Weber State University Professor of Anthropology Rosemary Conover looks for artifacts that tell stories of Utah's desert landscapes and the life that inhabited them.

The WSU Anthropology program would appear much different today if not for Conover, Amsel said. With a tenure of 48 years, Conover was employed longer in anthropology than anyone else in the department’s history, Conover said.

She “grew the program and created classes that highlighted the discipline’s connection to the social sciences, humanities and physical sciences,” Amsel said.

Conover also is known for her skills at writing year-end and accreditation reports.

“These documents set standards of excellence in the college and for the university for the rest of us,” Amsel said.

Story continues below photo.

LaRae Larkin historic photo

This photo of retiring Weber State University History Professor LaRae Larkin is believed to date back to before she started as a full-time professor at Weber State University 17 years ago.

Larkin, called the “baby” of the group after only 17 years at WSU, not only lectured on all periods of Russian history but also led popular tours to Russia, building a tradition of such activities, Amsel said.

Her leadership was behind the creation of the WSU Social Science Education Center. Because she had been a high school teacher, she was able to meet the needs of high school teachers through the center, Amsel said.

“She has made WSU a community resource for social science teachers, working with certified teachers to maintain their accreditation in Social Studies, History and Geography from central Utah to the Idaho border and offering the History Alliance seminar,” Amsel said.

All four have offered vast leadership, she continued, noting that Conover, Reddy and Sadler each have served as chairmen of the WSU faculty senate. 

While Sadler is a former dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for 26 years, Reddy and Conover each have been chairmen of their respective departments.

Story continues below photo.

LaRae Larkin with statue of Joseph Stalin

This photo from LaRae Larkin's travels to Russia, shows her standing on the head of a downed statue of Joseph Stalin.

LARAE LARKIN

Harrold said LaRae Larkin was the director of the Social Science Education Center starting in 1991.

“Each fall, spring and summer semester, she offered a course on a topical subject to enrich the knowledge of teachers,” Harrold said. Larkin organized graduate courses for teachers of history and social sciences in high schools and junior high schools.

Jamie Weeks, the curator of university archives and digital collections, said Larkin has published several scholarly works and a book titled “The Legitimacy in International Law of the Detention and Internment of Aliens and Minorities in the interest of National Security.”

During her tenure at WSU, Larkin developed a program for ongoing internships in Washington, D.C., Weeks said. She created the History Alliance Seminar program to allow public history teachers to renew their licenses or gain credit toward a master's degree.

“Her classes were extremely popular,” Weeks said. "As a student, I took several courses from Dr. Larkin because of her brilliant mind and the amount of knowledge she conveyed with each class discussion.”

Story continues below photo.

TR Reddy new to Weber State University

This photo shows Political Science Professor T.R. Reddy shortly after he started work at Weber State 52 years ago.

T.R. REDDY

In his letter of resignation to WSU, Reddy recalled his decades with differing focuses of publishing, serving the university and then serving his department.

Reddy recalled in his first years at WSU publishing a book titled “India’s Policy in the United Nations.” He said he was the first to author a scholarly book among the Social Sciences faculty at the time. Following the book were many articles in scholarly publications.

Former WSU President Rodney Brady awarded Reddy a presidential citation for service leadership in 1981. Reddy recalled Brady commending him by saying, “There are few people whom I have had occasion to work with during my years in business, government and academic administration whom I have learned to respect more than you.”

His accomplishments include a Social Science School Award for College Service and Professional Activities in 1981 and the Award for Recognition of Outstanding Achievement in Professional Activity in 1985.

“I trust that I have made a difference in the lives of (30,000) students who were enrolled in my classes over these five decades,” Reddy wrote in his letter of resignation.

Story continues below photo.

Richard Sadler, early years

This photo of Richard Sadler from his early years, around 1970, at Weber State.

RICHARD SADLER

Sadler’s service was well recognized at Weber State over the years. He was named Professor of the Year by the Associated Students Weber State College in 1972. He was Distinguished Presidential Professor for Weber State in 1982 and received the Weber State University Presidential Crystal Crest Award in 2010, according to his vita.

Also well-known outside the university, Sadler published with Richard Roberts both “Ogden, Junction City” and a book of Weber County’s History.

The editor for the Journal of Mormon History, Sadler was president of the Mormon History Association. He was chairman of the Utah Board of State History and a member of the Board of Editors for the Utah State Historical Quarterly, according to his vita.

His service has extended to the State of Utah School Board where he was chairman and president of the Utah School Boards Association. He was president of the Weber County School Board.

He has served with the Weber County Library Board, Organization of American Historians, Western History Association and the Utah State Historical Society, where he was named a fellow, according to his vita.

Story continues below photo.

Rosemary Conover 2

Weber State University Anthropology Professor Rosemary Conover is preparing to retire from the institution.

ROSEMARY CONOVER

Conover’s accomplishments include many firsts, especially as a woman in her various university leadership roles and for studying various areas of interest, including societal impacts on women’s issues.

She is known for being the first woman to be allowed to wear pants as part of her professional attire at Weber State, something she believes to be a humorous point.

Other firsts from her career include her becoming the first anthropologist and possibly the first female professor to teach at the Utah State Prison, her first Weber State teaching assignment, she said.

She was the first and only faculty member appointed to chair a Weber State institutional committee for the university’s re-accreditation with the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges in the 1990s.

The first to teach in several additional academic programs across campus, she became an instructor for women’s studies, European studies and linguistics.

Noted for vast service to her community, Conover’s awards include Weber State Presidential Distinguished Professor, Your Community Connection Woman of the Year Award, Top of Utah Outstanding Women in Business & Education Award and many others.

Rosemary Conover with skull

This is an early image of Weber State Anthropology Professor Rosemary Conover. She is preparing to retire from WSU 48 years after starting her career there.

  

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at jfrancis@standard.net or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or on Facebook at Facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!