H. A. Riebe

To: All Staff Members
From: J. W. Maucker, President
Date: April 14, 1970

Dr. Harvey August Riebe, Emeritus Professor of Education, passed away in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Sunday, April 12, 1970, following an illness of a few months. He was born in Onalaska, Wisconsin, in 1892.

Dr. Riebe was graduated from LaCrosse State Teachers College (then LaCrosse Normal School), and he received the Ph. B., Ph. M., and Ph. D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, the last in 1929.

He taught and served as superintendent in the public schools of Wisconsin and Minnesota and taught at State Teachers College, Mayville, North Dakota. In 1925, he joined the staff at University of Northern Iowa as an assistant professor of education; he was advanced to the rank of associate professor in 1932 and to the rank of professor in 1938. He assumed emeritus status in 1960.

Dr. Riebe had been a member of the American Association of University Professors, National Society of College Teachers of Education, National Probation Association, National Education Association, Iowa State Teachers Association, and Phi Delta Kappa. He was very active in university committee work and in community affairs, and was in great demand as a speaker for school, church, and club groups. This university was built on the work of such men as H. A. Riebe.

Cremation will be by Roper & Sons, Lincoln, Nebraska. Memorials may be made to the H. A. Riebe Memorial. Scholarship Fund through the University of Northern Iowa Foundation.


1. Memorial.

The Chair recognized Dr. William Dreier who read the following statement:

H. A. Riebe

Dr. H. A. Riebe came to the Department of Education of the Iowa State Teachers College in 1925 with the Ph. B. and Ph. M. degrees from the University of Wisconsin and with five years of public school experience as high school teacher, principal, and superintendent. He had also served one year as professor and chairman of the Department of Education at the State Teachers College, Mayville, North Dakota. In three years he earned a leave of absence and returned to the University of Wisconson for a year where he was granted the Ph. D. degree in 1929.

His service with our University extended over 35 years until he retired in 1960. During these years he was known to his many friends as "H.A." He had many accomplishments and received unique recognitions, including one of the Purple and Old Gold faculty awards in 1939 for "efficient and inspiring instructional service".

During World War I Dr. Riebe served in the Signal Corps with the Air Force Photographic Branch. This interest continued through the years and in the summer of 1939 he pioneered the first course at I.S.T.C. in Visual Education. The course was regularly offered twice a year and in 1945 became Audio-Visual Education. In 1947 Dr. Riebe wrote a detailed letter to the administration proposing the establishment of an Audio-Visual Laboratory and Program for the college. This letter and his subsequent planning helped establish the audio-visual services and courses we now have at the University of Northern Iowa.

Professor Riebe was elected by his colleagues and named by the administration to head numerous committees. He was chairman of the Commencement Committee for nine years, a member of the Student Welfare Committee for nineteen years, and of the Educational Publications Committee for six years. He served in the Senate for two years and on the Athletic Board for five years. During World War II he was the campus advisor for men about to be inducted. He edited a mimeographed letter "Campus to Khaki", which became "Khaki to Campus" as the students and faculty returned to I.S.T.C.

In his teaching, in the community, and at home, H. A. was a doer. This was especially evident in his working closely with students and faculty on the campus. He was active in the Interdenominational Church which met in the College Auditorium; he helped establish Arcturus, a fortnightly luncheon discussion group of towners and gowners; he was an influential member of Rotary, the American Legion, and the Masonic Lodge. He wrote ten local color articles about the early lumber days at Onalaska, Wisconsin. These eventful articles were published in 1935 by the LaCrosse County Record, receiving wide acclaim. Later, in 1939 or 1940, he had two four-page spreads of his wild flower pictures published in the old rotagraveure section of the Des Moines Register and Tribune on two successive Sundays. He was an expert flower photographer. Most of the pictures were of Iowa flowers with a few from Wisconsin and Minnesota. Prior to and following retirement from U.N.I., and until his death on April 12, 1970, at Lincoln, Nebraska, H. A. served efficiently as a director of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Cedar Falls.

H. A. Riebe and Gladys Cox were married in 1917 while he was a member of the Signal Corps in World War I. Born to this union were a daughter, Kathleen, and a son, Harland, who grew to maturity while living in Cedar Falls. Kathleen now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Harland in Charleston, Illinois. H. A. and his wife, Gladys, who in 1968 preceded him in death, resided for many years just across from the campus and their home was a welcome stopping place for students, faculty, and other friends.

H. A. had a hobby center at home that provided nearly full-time activity after retirement. He worked with photography, and, as a rockhound, cut and polished agates and other semi-precious stones. The Riebe artistry was also evident in his work with water colors; he often favored his many friends with short letters illustrated by a sketch of a lake, mountain, or lonely cabin.

Dr. Riebe's book The Classroom: Organization, Management, and Administration was published by the Cordon Company in 1938 and for years was widely used as a college textbook. Reflecting high professional concerns were his memberships in the American Association of University Professors, National Society of College Teachers of Education, Iowa State Education Association, National Education Association, Phi Delta Kappa, and National Probation Association. Because of his dynamic personality and practical ideas, he was in great demand as a speaker for school, church, and club groups. This University was built on the work of such men as H. A. Riebe.

William H. Dreier
Gordon Rhum
Guy Wagner

Whitnah moved that this statement be made a part of the permanent records of the Faculty and that copies be sent to members of the family. Poppy seconded. Motion carried.

Minutes of the Faculty Senate, November 16, 1970.


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