Ed Archer '56
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Attending a liberal arts college turned out to be a lucky choice for me. Our Humanities program was a difficult joy, combining the studies of history, literature, and art into one course while preparing me to be able to communicate effectively with people of other backgrounds and title levels. Somehow it seemed to make it easier to understand the philosophy and theology courses too. The two professors that I liked the most were Drs. Citarella and Fairbanks, who taught us how to think more clearly and develop an appreciation for the arts.
As a liberal arts college, St. Mike’s did a very good job teaching the sciences too, based on the number of students who were successful in the medical and other scientific fields after graduation. I was impressed when applying for jobs as a chemist that our BA degree met all the requirements of a BS degree at larger schools. Dr. Lemaire was an excellent professor in Chemistry, but the best advice came from Dr. Quinlan when he said to students who were struggling in his Organic Chemistry class, “Memorize, memorize, memorize and someday the fog will lift.” How important that was for me in my career as an Analytical Chemist at Texaco. (I also worked for five years or so in human resources.)
At St. Mike’s, I appreciated the opportunity to attend Mass daily and to participate in praying the rosary in the dorms most evenings. On a personal note, the liberal arts education at a Catholic college led me to volunteer quite a bit in our parish: a few years as a CYO basketball coach, a Cub Scout leader, a Boy Scout Leader and finally, a Girl Scout Leader. Then, for over twenty years, I trained and scheduled our parish altar servers, lectors, and Extra Ordinary Ministers of the Eucharist. I also oversaw our parish cemetery for about ten years. Seven of our eight kids graduated from Catholic colleges, our youngest, Sharon, graduated from St. Mike’s.