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Wayne State Honors Retiring Faculty

Published: 6-1-2010 11:35 am

Dr. Jay O'Leary came to Wayne State College 44 years ago in 1966, specializing in music and, specifically, woodwind instruments. He holds bachelor of music education and doctor of musical arts degrees from the University of Colorado. His master of music degree is from Boston University.

He received the Wayne State Foundation Teaching Excellence Award in 1970. Before coming to Wayne, he served as Associate Principal Clarinet and Soloist of the United States Army Field Band of Washington, D.C., during which time he played at the funeral of President John F. Kennedy and the later inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson.

O'Leary was Fine Arts division head at Wayne State for 20 years, and was the director of the Wayne State Summer Music Camp. He was Principal Oboe of the Sioux City Symphony for 40 years, and currently plays in the Sioux City Municipal Band and Siouxland All-America Band.

Dr. Linda Taber began her career as a Wayne State College professor in 1992. She earned her bachelor's degree in history at Penn State University in 1964, her master's degree in history at Rutgers University in 1966 and her doctorate in history at Stanford in 1983.

She served as a visiting professor of history at the University of South Dakota and the University of Iowa before joining the Wayne State faculty full time. Taber taught Wayne State courses in World History, World Civilizations, Ethics and Values, Society and Gender, African History, the Renaissance and the Reformation, and Slavery in a Global Perspective.

She noted in thoughts about her retirement that, "The college has undergone numerous changes in campus and curriculum, but some of the best things about teaching here have remained the same. Every semester I have had the opportunity to teach in fields that interest me, even when my interest took an unexpected turn into the history of slavery, ancient and modern. I appreciate the program flexibility which made it possible to develop and share new interests."

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