Robert C. Canfield '60 and Patricia Harms Canfield '57: Teacher, Friend and Inspiration
“Good teachers stick with you,” Bob Canfield ’60 says. “It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you last saw each other.”
Bob and his wife, Patricia Harms Canfield ’57, have fond memories of their time as students of Professor Emeritus John J. Baughman ’48. Baughman was Bob’s freshman adviser when he started at DePauw in 1956. Pat still remembers throwing her pen across campus in disgust when she realized she had botched a question on one of Baughman’s notoriously difficult final exams.
The Canfields are just two of the many people who have been inspired by Baughman’s life and teaching. Prior to his own time as a student at DePauw, Baughman served with the United States Army in Europe from 1943 to 1945, where he received the Order of Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge. He joined the University’s history department in 1953 and was a fixture there until his retirement from teaching in 1992. Baughman still lives in Greencastle, a short walk from where he was a beloved teacher for four decades, and he is known and respected both on campus and off. Most recently, the Historical Society of the United Methodist Church recognized his contributions as a historian of the institution with the 2015 Ministry of Memory Award.
Although the Canfields lost touch with Professor Baughman after they graduated, they rekindled their friendship with him and his wife, Betty, when their son, Michael W. Canfield ’88, attended DePauw. Years later, with a son-in-law beginning his own teaching career, the Canfields began to consider ways to help other young teachers. They established a faculty fellowship at DePauw in 2002 to support faculty members seeking to improve their teaching, advance their scholarly and creative work, and enhance the University’s academic programs. They named it the John J. and Elizabeth Bowden Baughman Faculty Fellowship in honor of their friends and teacher. In February 2015, the Canfields made a substantial additional gift to supplement the Baughman Faculty Fellowship as well as The Fund for DePauw.
“The strength of DePauw is its students and the people who teach them,” Bob says. “We hope to give talented and young faculty members a little relief to grow their courses.”
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