Six Wofford faculty members who taught at the college for a combined 147 years retired at the end of the spring semester.
Dr. Eddie Richardson, professor of accounting, business and finance; Dr. G.R. Davis, McCalla Professor of Biology; Dr. Sally Hitchmough, professor of English; Dr. Dave Kusher, professor of biology; Dr. Eun-Sun Lee, professor of music and director of string ensembles; and Dr. Rickey Madden, associate professor of business and coordinator of the business program, all were granted professor emeritus status by the college’s board of trustees.
Dr. Eddie Richardson
Richardson received many notes from former students who heard that he was retiring, including one that captured what he hopes to have imparted.
The letter writer expressed appreciation for the inclusive nature of his classes and his teaching ability before writing, “Your desire to improve yourself inspires me not to be afraid to take risks.”
Richardson had 31 years of service to the college.
Richardson first came to Wofford in 1992 to serve as director of institutional research. He left in 2000 to lead a tech company that fell victim to the burst of the dotcom bubble a few months after he arrived. He returned to Wofford to teach in 2002.
“What I love most was being in the classroom,” Richardson says. “You gotta be a little bit of an actor to hold the attention of students. I have a little bit of drama, I suppose, and I like being around students.”
Dr. G.R. Davis
Davis plans to drive into retirement by taking “Vanna White” across the country and conquering a dragon one more time.
Davis retired with 29 years of service. He has no intention of taking to a rocking chair.
“I have a whole list of things I want to do,” he says. “I want to restore my dad’s 1950 John Deere tractor, see someone restore a grand piano and learn to sail.”
He also wants to drive to California in the rusty white 1998 GMC Savannah van that he affectionately calls “Vanna White.” After that, or maybe before, he’ll hop on his 2004 Honda Shadow motorcycle and ride the Tail of the Dragon, a section of U.S. Highway 129 in North Carolina bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee National Forest that features 318 curves in an 11-mile stretch.
Oh, he also plans to spend time with his grandchildren.
“My life is going to be a bunch of this, that and the other,” he says.
Dr. Sally Hitchmough
It takes Hitchmough 13 minutes to walk from her house to the home of her daughter, Rachel Chalmers ’16. It’s a walk she’ll make often this summer, when Rachel has a baby.
“It takes longer if you drive,” says Hitchmough.
Hitchmough will have plenty of time to make that walk. She retired after a 27-year association with Wofford.
Hitchmough and her husband, Dr. Alan Chalmers, a professor of English at Wofford, came to Spartanburg from Oregon in 1991 after he was offered a position by a nearby university. She taught a course at other area colleges until 1996, when she was recruited by Wofford as a one-year fill-in for Dr. George Martin ’59, professor emeritus (now deceased) and retired chair of the Department of English. She was offered a tenure-track position in 2001.
“I stayed because I loved Wofford. I loved the community and the focus on learning and service, which went together very nicely,” she says.
Dr. Dave Kusher
Kusher, spent more than three weeks in California this spring, arriving back in Spartanburg around midnight on April 24. Bright and early on April 26, he was off for a three-week tour of New England. In June, he’ll head to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, and then he’ll do three weeks in Maine in July. August is up in the air, but plans are locked in for the fall.
Kusher retired at the end of Interim after 27 years at Wofford.
“I miss being in a classroom, and I’ll miss it going forward,” says Kusher. “But I’m 70. It’s time to have more fun.”
For 25 of his years at Wofford, Kusher led a popular travel Interim, taking students scuba diving to explore coral reefs. During that time, 480 Wofford students earned their scuba certification. While the trips were fun, Kusher says they also taught students how fragile coral reefs are and how vital their existence is to the planet.
“There are three guys taking over that Interim. I had them all sign a document saying if Kusher wants to go on a trip, he gets to go as one of the adults,” Kusher says with a laugh.
Dr. Eun-Sun Lee
Dr. Eun-Sun Lee has fielded the question that all new retirees are asked, “What are you going to do?”
“Music was a top priority in my life,” says Lee, who began playing the violin at 9. “It was an intense childhood. I didn’t get to play enough, and I don’t mean the violin. I want to travel. I want to enjoy life with colleagues and friends while I’m still able to run, dance, hop and skip.”
Lee served Wofford College for 19 years, and she started the Wofford Chamber Players.
“The goal is to make music that fulfills the composer’s intent,” Lee says. “I hope that, in doing so, I’ve fulfilled the mission of the college as well, since ensembles are hands-on, applied learning that encourages players to communicate and respect everyone while setting aside differences to make music. We must respect each other to elevate the performance, and that’s a humbling experience.”
Dr. Rickey Madden
Chalk and talk.
Those were the tools Dr. Rickey Madden had at his disposal when he began his teaching career 40 years ago. As technology evolved, so did Madden.
“Technology has changed education in general, but it has totally transformed marketing and business with e-commerce and information,” says Madden. “The changes kept me scrambling.”
Madden served at Wofford for 14 years. Wofford was the sixth and final stop of his career.
Madden was teaching at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., in 2008. He was happy there, but one day he was reading the Chronicle of Higher Education and saw that Wofford was seeking a marketing professor. He decided to go for it.
“I always wanted to teach here,” he says. “This was my dream job. This is such a great place.”
Read full profiles on the three retirees in the upcoming summer issue of Wofford Today.