Professor Richard Raleigh (second from the left) talking to former students.
When STU professor Richard Raleigh started teaching at St. Thomas University in 1966, assignments were done on typewriters not computers, research was done at the library not on the internet, music was heard on the radio not Spotify, and St. Thomas University, known as Biscayne College, was graduating its first class.
Fifty years later, Detroit-native Raleigh remains dedicated to the university and his students, and says living through the university’s growth and transformations has brought him much happiness throughout the years.
“Being part of the evolution of St. Thomas University, from its beginnings as a small men’s college to the thriving co-ed university it is today, has been the great joy of my life,” Raleigh said.
In addition to being a professor of English and the Humanities, he is a published poet whose work has appeared in more than two dozen literary quarterlies, and is recognized as one of the earliest members of the Hemingway Society.
He is also the university’s resident historian on all things St. Thomas: from the university’s founding, its Augustinian roots, to its expansion into the St. Thomas University of today.
In the classroom is where Raleigh has truly left his mark. Aside from being voted STU professor of the year nine times, students and alumni all agree that Raleigh’s passion for literature and the humanities combined with his sharp-witted personality make him a spectacular professor.
On Saturday, Dec. 17, Raleigh was honored with a celebration of his service to STU over the past five decades. Friends, colleagues, and current and former students gathered to thank him for his exceptional teaching and service to the university.
As he approaches year 51 at STU, Raleigh says he has no interest in retiring.
“Even after 50 years, I’m still happy and excited to have the job I have,” he said. “I’m truly blessed.”