John L. Eiklor

John L. Eiklor


John L. Eiklor was a professor of humanities and history at UNI for twenty-eight years.  He received his B. A. from Wichita State University in 1951, and his M. A. and Ph. D. degrees from Northwestern University, in 1953 and 1963, respectively.

He was loved and respected by his colleagues and students and was regarded as a master teacher.  He was named "Professor of the Year" in Iowa by an education council in 1991.  He died in 1992 at the age of 65.

He was born in Chicago in 1927, but grew up in New York.  He served in the Navy during the World War II. Before coming to UNI in 1963, Eiklor was an instructor in an over-seas program, which took him to several foreign countries.

 


9/10/91

1991 Iowa Professor of the Year is University of Northern Iowa History Professor

A University of Northern Iowa history professor, Dr. John Eiklor, has been recognized as 1991 Iowa Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

This national professional organization annually honors one college or university professor from each state for teaching excellence, and for influencing the lives and careers of their students.

"This is a great honor for Dr. Eiklor and for the University," said Nancy Marlin, vice president and provost.  "UNI takes justifiable pride in its great tradition of high quality teaching, and it is wonderful to have this quality nationally recognized.  Professor Eiklor is truly a master teacher."

Eiklor has taught at UNI for twenty-eight years, primarily undergraduate humanities courses.  Former students have admired his ability to make history come alive through vivid lectures and readings.

"I was seventeen when I first sat in John's Western Civilization class, and the experience changed my life forever," said Judith Colemann, now an artist and teacher.  "He introduced me to the world of ideas and art, and gave me a sense of belonging to a great cultural tradition."

Another former student, Robert T. Wilson, is employed by The Saturn Corporation, a subsidiary of the largest manufacturing corporation in the world.  "I recall a book I read in Dr. Eiklor's class--Man's Search for Meaning, by Dr. Victor Frankl," Wilson said.  "The author of that book had coined the term proactive, and Dr. Eiklor stressed that idea in his lectures.  Now, fourteen years later, the term proactive is expected as a norm by my current employer."  Eiklor's love of books--and his willingness to share them--is well-known on campus.  "John has given away more books to students and friends over the years than some small town libraries contain," said Dr. John Johnson, professor and head of the UNI Department of History.

Eiklor grew up in New York City. and served in the U. S. Navy during World War II.  He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in the early 1950s, then taught in the University of Maryland Overseas Program from 1957 to 1963, in Germany, Crete, Libya, and Turkey.

He earned his doctorate from Northwestern University in 1963, and joined the UNI faculty that fall.  Since then, he has taught more than thirty different courses in history and the humanities.

"Much of this award belongs to my students," Eiklor said.  "I really have great respect for my humanities students--that's why I give them so much reading, and why they do so well.  If I didn't have that respect for them, I don't think I could teach very well."

Eiklor will be honored at a faculty reception at UNI on Monday, October 14, 1991, during National Higher Education Week (October 14-19).


10/29/92

University of Nothern Iowa Mourns Loss of Beloved History Professor John Eiklor: Will Hold Celebration of His Life Friday. Oct. 30

Dr. John L. Eiklor, 65, professor of history at the University of Northern Iowa since 1963, died Tuesday morning, October 26, 1992, at Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo of complications following heart bypass surgery.

A memorial service to celebrate Eiklor's life is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, October 30, on top of UNI's Maucker Union.  In the event of inclement weather, the service will be held in the UNI Auditorium.

Additionally, UNI students are planning a candlelight vigil in his memory, to be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, November 1, also on top of Maucker Union.

Eiklor, named CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) 1991 Iowa Professor of the Year last fall, was described by his department head as "one of the University's most beloved professors."

"Probably no professor in recent memory touched so many students directly," said Dr. John Johnson, head of the department of history.  "John had a tremendous love for students, and they had great affection for him.  Concern for students was the hallmark of John's teaching career.  He was never too busy to talk, joke, and give advice.

"And, as a lifelong book lover and collector, John gave away more books to friends and students than can be found in many small town libraries.  He was truly a gentleman and a scholar."

At the time of his death, Eiklor was teaching a Humanities I course with about 350 students, and an upper level history class on the Renaissance and Reformation to about thirty students.

Dr. Nancy Marlin, UNI vice president and provost, said Eiklor's concern for his many students was evident through last week when, though hospitalized, he continued to call the campus to check on his students and his courses.

"He was concerned about his students and anxious to return to the classroom," Marlin said, "already discussing with his doctors how soon he could return--one more manifestation of his dedication to his students.  He was truly a master teacher, credited by many students and former students with changing their lives forever.  He opened doors to the world, instilling a love of learning and helping them grow."

Eiklor defined his humanities class--a blend of history, philosophy, literature, and art--as a "history of the human mind." Many of his former students credit him with making them think and having an "uncanny ability to make history come alive through vivid lectures and readings."

The CASE Iowa Professor of the Year Award Eiklor received last year is granted annually by the national professional organization to one college or university professor from each state for teaching excellence, and for influencing the lives and careers of their students.

Former student Robert T. Wilson, employed by The Saturn Corporation, a subsidiary of the largest manufacturing corporation in the world, recalled reading the book list on the first day of class "with shock and disbelief.  I leaned over and asked one of my classmates if there might have been a mistake--perhaps they had combined two classes on one list?  Then he began his lecture and I was hooked."

Wilson said it was by reading a book in Eiklor's class, Man's Search for Meaning by Dr. Victor Frankl, he first encountered the term "proactive," coined by Frankl.  "Dr. Eiklor stressed that idea in his lectures," Wilson said. "Now fifteen years later, the term 'proactive' is expected as a norm by my current employer."  Said Judith Colemann, now an artist and teacher, "I was seventeen when I first sat in John's Western Civilization class, and the experience changed my life forever.  He introduced me to the world of ideas and art, and gave me a sense of belonging to a great cultural tradition."

Born in Chicago, June 21, 1927, Eiklor grew up in New York City.  He served in the U. S. Navy during World War II and married Addeene Lizer, November 28, 1950, in Dodge City, Kansas.  He earned his B. A. degree from the University of Wichita in 1951, and M. A. and Ph. D. degrees in 1953 and 1963, respectively, from Northwestern University.

Eiklor taught in the University of Maryland Overseas Program from 1957 to 1963, in Germany, Crete, Libya, and Turkey.  During his twenty-nine years at UNI, he taught more than thirty different courses in history and the humanities.

He is survived by his wife, Addeene, and his mother, Eleanor Eiklor, both of Cedar Falls, and his daughter, Elizabeth R. Eiklor of Tucson, Arizona.

A memorial fund has been established in Eiklor's name with the UNI Foundation, Development House, UNI, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0155.


October 28, 1992
To:  UNI Faculty and Staff Members
From:  John Johnson, Head, History
In Memoriam:  John L. Eiklor

Dr. John L. Eiklor, Professor of History, died at 11:07 A.M. on October 27, 1992, at Allen Hospital as a result of complications following heart surgery.  He was 65 years old.

John Eiklor, who taught at UNI since 1963, was one of this institution's truly great teachers.  Given his longevity on the faculty and the large Humanities classes that he regularly offered (at least one 350-student class per semester), it is likely that he reached more students directly than any professor in UNI's long history.  Alumni surveys consistently accorded John top ratings.  In 1991 he was honored by the Council on the Advancement and Support of Education as Iowa's "Professor of the Year," the only UNI faculty member ever to receive this high award.

Concern for students was the hallmark of John's teaching career.  He was never too busy to talk, joke, and give advice.  As a lifelong book lover and collector, John gave away more books to friends and students than can be found in many small town libraries.  He was truly a gentleman and a scholar.

John was born on June 21, 1927, in Chicago, Illinois.  He served in the U. S. Navy during World War II.  He was married on November 28, 1950, to Addeene Lizer.  He received the B .A. degree from the University of Wichita in 1951, the M. A. degree from Northwestern University in 1953 and the Ph. D. degree in history from Northwestern in 1963.  Prior to coming to UNI, John served as an instructor in the University of Maryland's overseas program, teaching in Germany, Crete, Libya, and Turkey.

John is survived by his wife, Addeene, and mother, Eleanor Eiklor, both of Cedar Falls, and by his daughter Elisabeth R. Eiklor of Tucson, Arizona.

An on-campus memorial and celebration of John's life will take place on Friday, October 30, at 3 P.M. on the top of Maucker Union.  In case of bad weather, it will be held in the Old Auditorium. In addition, many of John's students are planning a candlelight ceremony at 7 P.M. Sunday, November 1, also on the top of Maucker Union.

Memorials may be made in the name of John L. Eiklor to the UNI Foundation, Development House, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614.


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu