Hendrix Magazine

Dr. Garrett McAinsh

McAinshDr. Garrett McAinsh, Harold and Lucy Cabe Distinguished Professor of History, has been a member of the Hendrix faculty since 1970.

What’s next for you?
I’ll be doing volunteer work at the Butler Center, and other places.  I’ve found a second career lecturing on cruise ships, talking about the history of the places we’re about to visit.  It’s not a paid position, but the trips are free for myself and my wife.  My retired life will be “academic lite” – I don’t have plans to write a book or anything.

Describe the most memorable moment of your time at Hendrix?
I’ll always remember my time as the head of the Social Sciences, in the late ’80s.  It was my opportunity to really contribute to the life of the College.

What is the most significant change you’ve seen at Hendrix during your time on campus?
It would have to be the displacement of Western Civ. as the core of the Hendrix curriculum, and its replacement with more global course. I think it’s important to know your own civilization first; other civilizations come secondary.

What is something that others would be surprised to find out about you?
What you see is what you get, I’m afraid.  But my biggest disappointment about myself is that I really tried to learn French and just couldn’t get it.

Why did you choose to teach at Hendrix?
I was lucky to get offered this job.  It was in 1970, and the job market had closed – they could have gotten someone from Harvard, but they didn’t know that.  I found the job through a friend.

Where were you on 9/11?
I was leading an Orientation trip at Buffalo River.  There were no radios turned on, and no one had a cell phone.  The owner of the lodge came up and told us the morning it happened.

Have you ever been thrown in the fountain?
No – and don’t get any ideas.

What is your favorite meal in the cafeteria?
Chicken fried steak.  When are they going to serve that for lunch again?

What is your favorite place on campus and why?
I love the Wallyball court in the Mabee Center, because I love Wallyball.

 If you could do anything over again, what would it be?
I can’t think of anything – at least not in my professional life.