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Writer & Historian

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A Long Journey Ends…A New Journey Begins

October 8, 2017

On Marking the Completion of a PhD in History

As the late Tom Petty sang, “I won’t back down.” I started working on my PhD in history as I neared retirement in 2008, so I had to take that line pretty seriously.

Truthfully, at times I was ready to back down. But in fits and starts – and with plenty of encouragement from family and friends – I pushed forward with the doctoral program. Finally this year I reached the end of that long academic journey.

I’m grateful to my supervisor Joseph Taylor and advisor Allen Seager. They were with me all the way and were forced to exert much patience as I struggled to learn a different type of writing. Other members of the history department also deserve credit for teaching me that history is important, relevant today, and that it can be a force for progressive social change.

Thanks also to family members, Niki and Alex, and the many friends who provided advice and encouragement. I owe the largest debt of gratitude to Leola who, out of love, was willing to sit through many periods of doubt not to mention hours of proofreading.

Now a new journey begins for me, one filled with promise, ideas, challenges, and new adventures. I will continue to write and post to this site among others. For those who love punishment, my dissertation is available online at SFU’s Bennett Library.


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