After 40 years of teaching at Furman, Laura has retired. She is now professor emeritus of chemistry.
Laura came to Furman in 1983 after doing a post-doctoral position at the University of Colorado. She answered an ad in the back of a journal and was attracted by the statement “…and our students are a delight to teach.” Laura started at Furman as a professor just a couple of weeks after I graduated from the school.
Laura’s time at Furman was not without its challenges. For a long time she was the only tenured woman professor in her department. In her early years one of her colleagues actively tried to sabotage her career. She endured, earning both the Meritorious Advising and Meritorious Teaching awards. She even served as chair of the Chemistry Department for a time. Yet, she had to deal with male dominance in the field and outdated views.
Laura’s students have gone on to pursue advanced degrees, many earning PhDs and MDs. She still maintains contact with lots of those students.
Back in May Laura was honored for her service at the university’s annual retirement dinner.
We’re hoping to do lots of traveling over the next few years. For now Laura is still getting into the groove of retirement, sleeping late and enjoying lots of reading.
As for me, on June 13 I celebrate 10 years of retirement. It’s been a great decade. I’m playing more music and have been writing lots of new songs. I don’t regret retiring early one bit. Here’s the video I made of me being out on that fateful day.
I have never been back to my former place of employment. Laura, on the other hand, will still keep close contact with Furman. After all, she still has close friends there and I’m an alumni. In either case, I’m glad she’s now joining me in this next endeavor.