Randall Shrock `68 is often reminded of the gifts that come with receiving an Earlham education.
During his 50th reunion this past September, he reconnected with more than a hundred of his former classmates and had powerful experiences that made him better appreciate the life he has lived.
“One of the things that the reunion made clear, was that one of the best things I received from Earlham was lifelong friends,” said Shrock, who co-chaired the reunion committee in the lead up to Homecoming Weekend. “I’m talking about deep friendships. Not everyone can say that, especially from their college.
“We planned this reunion for months and did a lot of special things together,” he said. “We put together a video using photographs people sent in. We talked about the aspects of getting older and what comes with age. We also recognized that more than 20 couples resulted from our classmates marrying someone else from Earlham. Quite a few of these people have children who attended Earlham, too. That was a heck of a lot of fun to see.”
Shrock is one of Earlham’s most ardent supporters and a frequent volunteer, contributing to the College’s Alumni Council for the last five years and, most recently, accepting an appointment on the Board of Trustees in July.
But his engagement with the College has practically been constant since graduating 50 years ago and later earning his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In 1974, Randall and his wife, Alice Almond Shrock `68, returned to campus to teach in a shared position on the history faculty, roles they held for 40 years. Randall was also a part-time professor of education and would later become the founding director of the Master of Arts in Teaching program, which has gone on to produce hundreds of graduates now working in school systems near and far from campus. Alice was also appointed associate academic dean in her career.
“When we described in graduate school the kind of place we’d like to teach at in the future, it always sounded like Earlham College,” Randall says. “We were attracted to the opportunity to lead the many unique experiences that Earlham students have, including foreign study. We both led the Germany/Austria program. Alice and I led the England program half a dozen times or more. The other thing that was attractive to us was the close working relationship faculty have with students. Earlham provides an opportunity to really change people’s lives. The faculty surely changed ours. This was our way of paying back what the faculty had done for us.”
When asked how alumni and other supporters of the College can help or reconnect with the College, Randall offered two helpful tips:
“This is a college that changes people’s lives in a very positive way,” he said. “Some people give to different charities, but by giving to Earlham you are in effect giving to all of those charities because you’re supporting students who are changing the world every day.
“The other thing I would say is figure out what you’re passionate about and figure out what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are,” he said. “Figure that out and try link your interests with the institution’s best interests. More than possibly ever, the College needs our support.”