Lucky for him, David Krugler’s first year of grad school coincided with the great Winton Solberg’s last year of teaching history at the UI.
“I’m eternally grateful that I was one of his last students,” says Krugler (MA ’93, Ph.D. ’97), now a history professor himself at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
Among the “many” lessons Krugler learned from Solberg during that one year as a history master’s student:
1. “He taught me the importance of precise and complete citations."
“In a paper I wrote for him, I submitted a bibliography that didn’t include the middle initials of the authors cited. Because, I thought, who cares? Professor Solberg did!
“In his markup of the paper, he added every middle initial I had omitted. No doubt from memory and, because this was 1991, without the aid of Google.”
2. “He showed me that if a 70-year-old uses the stairs to walk up to the History Library in the Graduate Library, a 22-year-old should too."
“I was waiting for the elevator one day when he took me by the shoulders and guided me to the stairs. Is it any wonder that Professor Solberg is, at age 96, still going strong?”
3. “On his last day of teaching, he told the class how much he had loved his decades of teaching history at U of I and how much he would miss it."
“I’m now in my twenty-second year of being a history professor, and, however long my career turns out to be, I want to project the same dedication and zeal that he showed, right down to the final class.”