By Philip Stahl – Contributing Writer
After a combined 62 years of service, two West Liberty faculty members will graduate with retirement status at this year’s December commencement exercises.
Associate Professor of Communications John Matviko and Associate Professor of Health Education Robert McCormack will leave the hilltop with several memories and are thanked for their dedicated leadership to the institution.
John Matviko was hired in 1979 and has taught almost every communication course West Liberty offers. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Clarion State College in 1969, a Master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and graduate studies at West Virginia University.
In addition to teaching, Matviko has written and contributed to several novels such as The American President in Popular Culture. In addition to his excerpts in this book, Matviko was interviewed during last year’s presidential campaign by a number of national and international news sources. He is currently working on a book about the role of horse racing in American culture.
Writing is a passion for Matviko, and he plans to stay busy with it along with playing tennis, traveling and watching some movies that he has wanted to see.
In August, Matviko was recognized as he celebrated 30 years of service at WLU.
“In my classes, I’ve counseled students to look for jobs in what they enjoy – they can’t pay you enough, otherwise. I have been very fortunate in my adult life to have had students and institutions who have appreciated my effort and enthusiasm,” said Matviko.
Fellow colleague and Associate Professor of Communication Christian Lee said, “I will miss John and it bums me out to know that he will no longer be in the department.”
According to Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. John McCullough and Vice Provost Dr. Donna Lukich, Professor Robert “Bob” McCormack has decided to retire at the end of this semester.
“Bob McCormack was a quality and dedicated member of the WLU faculty for over 31 years. He cared deeply about his students and colleagues, and, as a Chair, he provided conscientious leadership for the Department of Physical Education. He was a positive ambassador for the University, and he will be missed,” said McCullough.
McCormack joined the faculty in 1977 and had chaired the Department of Physical Education for 13 years.
“Professor McCormack has been on the faculty for over 30 years. He was committed to providing a high quality education for the Physical Education and Exercise Physiology majors,” said Vice Provost Dr. Donna Lukich.
McCormack graduated with a B.S. from Central Missouri State University in 1973. He also earned his M.S. from the same institution two years later. McCormack also had graduate studies at West Virginia University and the University of Maryland.
Current Chair for the Department of Physical Education Dr. Rhonda Noble said, “I’ve known Bob as a colleague for 23 years. I knew him as a student, and I have nothing but high respect for him and consider him one of my best friends. I hope he enjoys his well-deserved retirement.”