Spotlight: Patrick Gagnon

September 14, 2009

Pat Gagnon holds the record of current non-religious faculty member who has worked at SLC the longest.  He started working here in 1977 after earning a Master’s degree in Library Science and in History.  Pat started out in the library science program.  He worked in the library for about 10 years, and watched as the library science program was discontinued.  Pat then became the director of secondary education for a number of years.

When the teacher of history was transferred in the 1990s, Pat switched to the faculty position in history that he has held since then.  “Since then,” he says, “my job has been much more consistent.”  He then had a full time teaching schedule doing what he loved: working with students!  His favorite part about teaching history is that you get to study history at the same time.  “Every time you teach a course, you re-study that part of history,” says Pat.

Having been employed at Silver Lake for 32 years, Pat has seen a lot of things change and a lot of things stay the same.  Back when he started, the faculty was larger and there were a lot more religious faculty.  The student body was about the same size, but we didn’t have any off-campus accelerated adult programs.  Back then as to today, teacher education was the most popular major.

Most recently, Pat is interested in the positive change that will occur because of the on-campus housing.  He says, “On-campus housing is something we’ve been talking about since I started work here.  There were various efforts that never came to fruition.  One developer in the 1980s developed a plan to build housing across the street, but it never happened.”  He is excited about the end of this very long process, and thinks that it will change the whole atmosphere of the college.  One of the struggles at Silver Lake was always trying to build up campus life.  So many people had their primary focus of their lives elsewhere, but on-campus housing “should be a real shot in the arm” toward building a college community.

Since 2007, Pat has also been a part of the Liberal Arts Task Force, which is now coming to an end.  The Task Force has been working on a new liberal arts curriculum, which will be booting up in Fall 2010.  Pat says that it has been a most interesting process, and has “given us an opportunity to get in touch with the Franciscan dimensions of our culture and to make it more apparent in the new curriculum.”  Pat has also been in charge of redesigning the history program while working here, and has clearly made a huge impact on the school.


One comment

  1. Hi Pat,
    I’m proud to say I was in the last LIBRARY SCIENCE minor class at SLC. I still remember the time we took a field trip to Madison…Joy, Lynn and I. We had a terrific time. I’m glad to hear about what you’ve been up to at SLC and all the exciting things happening there. Even some of my former students have attended or are presently enrolled at SLC…the Slomas!!!! It’s hard to believe that I’ve been away from SLC for 27 years. I truly enjoy the teaching profession and am now teaching my second generation. SLC provided for me a terrific foundation. God bless you and SLC!!!

    Laurie (Miller) Wagner

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