Myriam Pedercini 
Student Writer

quimbyAfter thirty years teaching for Messiah College as Senior Lecturer in Humanities and Director of Supplemental Instruction, Professor Kathleen Quimby of the Communications department bids farewell as she retires this spring. Professor Quimby began as an adjunct and finally, after a number of years working one year at a time, she eventually fulfilled a permanent position. She has held this position since.

“When I was seven years old I remember being very aware of the ‘other’,” said Quimby. “I just had a fascination with people who look different than I did, and that never left me.”

This interest in diversity is expressed in her intercultural communication and ethnic literature classes. These classes help her reveal the evil of racisms and prejudices in a unique and personal style rather than lecturing to her students.

Teaching has always been a passion of Quimby’s since the third grade and she rejoices at being able to wake up and tell herself she gets to teach today. “I have come to know [the students] as individuals,” she said. “It becomes even more of a blessing to be able to interact with the students and see [them] grow, and also to grow from you…it’s a mutual exchange there and I really appreciate that part of my job.”

Her students’ passion and resilient hope that they can make the world a better place will be some of the things she will miss. She treasures the individual relationships that have grown over the years, and is thankful for those who have stayed connected to her throughout the years after graduation.


Her last few words of wisdom to help guide students are words she tells herself:

“Trust the process. Often we want to be beyond our present situation and we want it to be just the way we want it to be and it rarely can be that way immediately. You want to be in the right relationship or the right major but it really is a matter of being honest with yourself about what gives you joy.”

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  6. Ralph Roberts January 14, 2019 at 1:34 pm #

    Just for posterity sake as a gay student attending messiah from 1992-1995 I can only rejoice at the good fortune that was mine to have had Professor Quimby for my public speaking class in my first semester. I came to know her better after being hired to work at the learning center which was being launched the fall of 93 with Kate as the director. Among the members of the team was her son who introduced me to how awesome it can be to have straight guy friends and his advise on working will with straight men has proven invaluable advice 1000 times over in countless work contexts. Kate and another mentor of Mine took me and my classmate Lee, who was for my first out gay friend, underwing and deemed we needed some mentoring so connected us with two guys who where about to graduate who have been an ongoing presence over the years that flipped the lineto the status of family somewhere along the way- and best of all through them I met this awesome straight girl who has called me out when I have thought sexuality was a get our of jail free card on being a jerk and given me a place to sleep and someone I know I can call any time – and she actually is on staff at the school now. But every time I see a photo of the girl with the pearl earring I think about the print of that painting that Kate had in her office and on or above a writing desk in her home. I have taught some college and grad school classes some online and somee face to face and since I don’t have a PHD and am adjunct or visiting teacher have been tempted to think less of my work and feel like I am pretending at something above my credentials and then I think of the fact that among the two most influential faculty I have ever had and of the dozen or so most significant adult role models that shaped my becoming who I am one was an adjunct faculty member without her PHD who gave everything we could ever ask to her students

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  15. Vanesssa September 7, 2020 at 7:06 pm #

    I know personally Kathleen Quimby – she’s genuin and nice person!

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