Boersema retires after 32 years

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After having taught for nearly 32 years, philosophy professor Dave Boersema will be retiring following the spring semester of 2016.

Boersema’s career began after earning his graduate degree in Michigan State University, Boersema was then hired at Pacific University.

In his 32 years, Boersema has watched the university and its students grow to record sizes with new buildings, faces and programs.

“Many, many times I think I really have been lucky; I’ve gotten to have the kind of career that I wanted to have” said Boersema.

Boersema recounted what Pacific University was like when he first arrived in 1985.

As a professor, Boersema said he has also changed and hopes he has gotten better over the years. Boersema said he has embraced the phrase, “less is more.”

“For me it’s more productive and meaningful to slowly walk through a smaller chunk of reading and really look at it,” said Boersema. “It doesn’t mean to dumb things down, but sometimes pausing and slowing down and really looking at something in detail.”

Boersema has taught courses spanning many subjects at Pacific University from human rights to the history of science.

“Of all of the different courses that I do, I like everyone,” said Boersema. “I look forward to teaching everyone.”
Boersema said he chooses to teach such broad spanning classes because he believes in liberal arts education.

Being a part of Pacific University community for this amount of time means being a part of the people for Boersema.

“I believe I’ve been in every single building on campus – even the sheds – and I wonder how many people can say that,” said Boersema. “I feel like I’m not just in the department, and I’m not just in this building, but it’s the whole campus, ­the whole pacific community.”

Boersema recounted the highlights of his time at Pacific University.

“I’ve been able to bring some big name people to campus – Noam Chomsky was here – it’s just really cool to have very well known people in our little community,” said Boersema.

Boersema said his plans for retirement are still in the works.

“I imagine I’ll stay active in my profession so to speak. But I will be in my hammock when I can,” said Boersema.

Professor Boersema has been a large part of the change at Pacific University and he will behind a legacy of education, humor and philosophy.


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