Richard "Pete" Moss (history) began teaching in 1978 when, he says, Colby was less renowned than today. "It seems to me that Colby went from a small, informal, regional college to being much more of a professional and of course not only national but international college," he said by phone from North Carolina, just before heading out to play golf. Years ago, when he visited North Carolina and spoke of Colby, he remembers people asking, "Isn't that a cheese?"
Richard "Pete" Moss
"Now they know the name," he said.
Moss retired this year, and while he will miss being in the classroom he hopes to stay tied to the Alumni College, which he led from 2001 to 2004 and calls "a great intellectual experience." "I just think that the College makes a commitment to lifelong education"this a great statement to that commitment," he said.
Moss will miss teaching but will continue to write, play golf, and write about golfing. A lifelong enthusiast and the author of a history of country clubs in America, Moss is now working on his first novel about a country club. He also has been writing for the local newspaper and hopes to make a second career of sports writing.
Moss can't leave Colby without a note about his nickname. As a college freshman, he was assigned to a room with two seniors who had been promised their own room. "They hated me"not for anything I had done but because the college had screwed them," he said. "They just thought it was hilarious that they would call me Pete Moss. It got to the point where there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it. Instead of just being renamed Pete, it became like one word"my name became peatmoss."
In his 28 years at Colby, Nicholas Rohrman (psychology) heard a lot of excuses. One student, who missed an exam, explained that because of his anxiety about the test, when he heard his alarm he leapt out of bed, hit his head, and collapsed back into bed, awaking after the test was over. "I think that's the champion," he said.
But times have changed. "I don't seem to get the kind of cockamamie excuses that I used to," Rohrman said. "I think the students have gotten a little more serious. This generation of students is, I think, very uneasy about their futures and worried about doing well and being able to compete."
Now, as he settles into retirement, Rohrman is able to focus on the many things that give him pleasure. First on the list? Why, reading, of course. He especially enjoys works by James Thurber and Robert B. Parker '54, whose recent books, he said, are "filled with really funny quips."
Rohrman enjoys the Maine outdoors"cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and, this time of year, gardening. "I got hooked on day lilies a few years back," he said. "Day lilies don't demand anything."