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History professor says experiences at MVNU are ‘just beyond description’

History professor Dr. Paul Mayle will retire at the end of this year after a four-decade long career at MVNU.

Mayle didn’t initially anticipate becoming a teacher; a love for the past, reading and following the doors that God opened for him led to his career.

During his tenure at MVNU, Mayle has made a substantial impact on both students and colleagues. One of those is junior history major Anna Jolly, a former student and current SI leader of Mayle’s.

Mayle is great at challenging his students, she said. He is especially known for his all-essay quizzes and tests.

“I definitely think that he’s helped me gain some great writing skills,” Jolly said.

While some students find his classes incredibly difficult, Jolly disagreed.

“He just always expects students to work their hardest and best,” she said.

Mayle said he hopes students learn to see challenges as “opportunity and stimulus to growth.”

Mayle’s colleagues said he has had a tremendous impact on MVNU.

History professor Dr. William Wantland said Mayle’s “balanced personality” greatly influenced him.

Years ago, Mayle gave a powerful devotional to Wantland — a student of Mayle’s at the time — and his fellow classmates about using their God-given potential to the fullest. That message deeply touched Wantland and has “stuck in my mind all these years.”

Dr. Yvonne Schultz, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, especially praised Mayle’s commitment to MVNU students both in and out of the classroom. Mayle and his wife can be found at many student events, such as art shows and music concerts.

Schultz said she also appreciates Mayle’s steady, quiet, thoughtful and intellectual presence in department and school meetings.

Some of Mayle’s favorite memories of MVNU are the various trips to Europe that he has taken with students.

“Living with them, sharing language, food and experiences is just beyond description,” he said.

Although Mayle is retiring from MVNU, he still has plans to travel to Hungary in the spring of 2017 to continue teaching and learning about the world.

Mayle’s position will be filled by part-time professor Mike Sherfy for the next school year.

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