Historian to retire at end of this year

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Special Collections Librarian and Associate Professor Alex Toth decided to retire at the end of the current academic year, just when he got his own parking space.

Toth came to Pacific in 1977, two years after Marsh Hall caught fire. One of his earliest Pacific memories is walking through campus and looking at the “heaping structure.”

The lawn was sprinkled with “a bunch of little trailers,” which provided a space for the hall’s faculty and staff.

Since then, the campus has undergone many changes. Toth said the move to the new library from Scott Hall, the former library, was well-received and is a great improvement from Scott Hall’s once leaking roof, failing air conditioning and avocado colors.

Pacific’s small size and welcoming environment convinced him to stay for 34 years. He spoke highly of the administration and the university, which provided him with the opportunity to expand his knowledge and the library’s services.

Toth said the campus’s small size allowed for a lot of personal interaction with the students, staff and faculty, which he said he has enjoyed immensely.

Throughout his time at Pacific, he helped organize the transcription of letters from Pacific’s first president, Sidney Harper Marsh, and is largely responsible for the government documents and special collection sections of the library.

The special collection includes rare books from the early pioneers and founders of the university.

Through his work, he has learned a lot about the university’s history and hopes to extend his appreciation for it to others.

“The experience has been really interesting and a challenge and certainly one that I’ve enjoyed.”

After retirement, Toth plans to travel with his wife to Canada, around Oregon and eventually to Europe. In addition to traveling, he plans to learn and write more about motor sports in the Pacific Northwest.

Although Pacific is special to him, Toth is also excited for retirement, which will allow him to ride his motorcycle more and pursue other interests.

A farewell reception will be held in the library May 12 from 2 to 5 p.m.


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