(KMOV) -- I’m a 2008 graduate of Quincy University (formerly Quincy College). It’s a small school about two and a half hours north of St. Louis in Quincy, IL. While some of you are familiar with it, I feel comfortable saying most people probably aren’t.
It’s a pretty typical liberal arts university and has been a longtime destination for many St.Louis soccer players to keep playing in college while getting an education (St.Louis Mayor Francis Slay included). Honestly, soccer is what drew me there. Little did I know in the fall of 2004, Quincy University is where I’d discover my love of journalism.
A love, and now a career I would’ve never pursued without the guidance of one my professors, Dr. John Schleppenbach.
Dr. John, as most of us called him, died unexpectedly today. I send my deepest sympathies and prayers to his wife and fellow professor Dr. Barb, their children, family, and friends.
I remember him as a soft spoken man, quick to greet you with a friendly smile. He was extremely smart and knowledgeable beyond his field. Be it business, communication, or “Business Communication,” as he taught many of us, Dr. John enjoyed sharing his love for what he knew.
I’m most grateful to he and Dr. Barb for sharing their confidence in me to go after a career as a television reporter. Dr. John laid the groundwork for my internship at WGEM-TV, which led to my first job there out of school. Less than two years later I moved on to Louisville, KY, and now I’m still at it back home in St. Louis.
He was confident that one of his students from little Quincy University could compete against other graduates from well known journalism programs like Mizzou, Northwestern, and Syracuse to name a few.
I carry that confidence today and I’m confident he’s up there looking down proud of me and all those he taught to achieve their goals.
He and Dr. Barb were an excellent team. My friends and I often wondered what their home life was like. Looking back on it now, I believe the love they had for their work and their students was fostered by the love they had for each other. It’s hard to imagine them not being together, but a love like that can’t be taken by death.
The grief we feel is no doubt fueled by the unexpected nature of Dr. John’s passing, but I take solace in knowing he’ll continue teaching and sharing his confidence from heaven.
May he rest in peace,