After 42 years of service to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Professor of Economics Pat McGuire is retiring this year, and on Monday, May 3, faculty, staff, colleagues and nearly 50 of McGuire’s former students turned out at his last class for a surprise sendoff.
Outside the Warren Hunting Smith Library, they gathered to toast McGuire, laud his decades of teaching and mentoring and thank him.
“This is a day that many of us didn’t want to come,” said HWS President Mark D. Gearan. “I have had the distinct honor of working with Pat for 10 years now, and I’ve witnessed his extraordinary service, in Geneva, on our Washington D.C. program and around the world; his counsel and perspective that reflect his love of these Colleges and their community.”
“Pat took a real interest in us as individuals,” said Andy McMaster ’74, P’09, a former student who donated the McGuire House, located at 394 South Main Street, in honor of McGuire’s retirement. “Pat encouraged us to reach and achieve our best.”
Quoting longtime CBS News anchor Dan Rather, Associate Professor of Economics Jo Beth Mertens said of Pat and his teaching style, “‘The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.'”
Susan DeLarm-Sandman ’74, who returned to celebrate McGuire’s retirement, recalled her first economics course: “I was expecting it to be dry, lots of numbers, but I remember Pat jumping up onto the desk yelling, ‘The Lord Sayeth!’ I was hooked. He made it come alive.”
McGuire was educated at St. Peter’s College, before receiving his M.A. and Ph.D. from Fordham University. He has co-taught the “Two Cities” bi-disciplinary course with Jim Spates of the sociology department for more than 20 years, has directed the Galway Ireland semester abroad and regularly leads the Washington, D.C. internship program. He has also been a regular participant in the annual Wall Street Experience Program, which, run through the Salisbury Center for Career Services, allows students to spend two days with alums and employers working at global investment banks, ratings agencies and hedge funds all over Manhattan. A regular attendee of HWS alum gatherings, McGuire has been an integral and vital part of the HWS community, as a friend, an adviser and a teacher.
“What makes a great teacher is making connections, between people, between disciplines, both inside the classroom and out, and Pat has done that and has had a profound effect on hundreds of students,” said Mertens during the toast. “Let us raise our glasses to Pat-master teacher, inspirer of dreams.”