FULTON, Mo., Aug. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Teachers live through the lives of the students they touch, but the students of Westminster College Political Science Professor John Langton, affectionately known as "Dr. John," have taken it a step further, it was announced today.
A group of them have come forward to secure commitments of more than $1 million to endow the Dr. John Langton Professorship of Legal Studies and Political Science, creating the first named professorship in Political Science in Westminster's history.
"The Langton Professorship is the extremely gratifying and deeply appreciated icing on the cake of my 35-year career at Westminster," said Dr. Langton. "But, the delicious cake itself has been helping my students to learn and grow and realize their dreams."
Alumni Jim Bennett, '92, and Elizabeth Cole, '94, both from St. Louis, MO, and Phil Boeckman, '88, of London, England, who is also a Westminster Trustee, have led the effort, contacting other alumni and inspiring them to give. Their mission is to ensure that Westminster's pre-law program and its Political Science Department have a dynamic and effective leader to step into Dr. Langton's shoes to teach a new generation.
Since he came to Westminster in 1981, Dr. Langton has taught more than 5,000 students and served as the Chair of the Department of Political Science for more than 20 years. He designed Westminster's pre-law minor and more than 200 of his students have attended law school.
Six of his students have earned Ph.Ds in Political Science. Another one is currently a doctoral student at Washington University, where the chair of the department also is a former student of Professor Langton.
He is the winner of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1997, and he received the Alpha Chi Lifetime Achievement for Excellence in Teaching and Service in 2012. He has been selected since 2001 by 11 inductees of Alpha Chi, Westminster's honorary academic society, as their "most inspiring professor."
His articles have been published in The American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Sociology, The British Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, the American Behavioral Scientist and Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
The campaign is more than halfway toward its goal of $2 million, which would fund an endowed chair. Funding is ongoing, and gifts of all sizes are welcome at www.westminster-mo.edu/giving.
SOURCE Westminster College