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Dr. Price and four other professors retire

After years of pulling a head out of a paper bag, history professor Dr. Robert Price will be retiring from teaching.

Price has spent the last ten years teaching African-American and Modern European history at Eastern, along with a few Western Civilization classes.

For many students in his Western Civilization classes, the highlight of the year was when Price taught on King Louis XVI, pulling a Halloween mask from a paper bag to emphasize that the king was beheaded.

In addition to the paper bag, Price was known for the way he brought the sometimes mundane facts of history to life through stories.

“I always tend to teach history in stories, but there’s already a story there,” Price said. “I try to humanize things. People remember a story much more than a list of facts. That’s the way I love to teach.”

Before he began teaching at Eastern, Price taught history at Chicago State University. He said the difference between the schools was very evident, especially in the interactions with and between students.

“I’ve enjoyed the students at Eastern,” Price said. “Teaching in a Christian school was really a benefit for coming here and the commitment and caliber of the students.”

Price said it will be hard to adjust after spending so many years of waking up early every day and teaching, and that he’ll miss interacting with students and answering their thoughtful questions. At the same time, he’s ready to transition into retirement.

“It’s a new experience,” Price said. “I’m stepping into an unknown land.”

During his retirement, Price said he hopes to continue working on a book he started several years ago about the Church’s rise and the education of the freed slaves after the Civil War. Price is focusing on the numerous obstacles the Church faced when it tried to spread the gospel to the South. While their intentions were good, there were so many social needs that needed to be dealt with first.

“They had no idea what they were getting into,” Price said. “The freedmen had no money, no place to live, no education. (The Church) just ran into one thing after another that they just weren’t ready for.”

Price has been working on the book “strongly for the past three years” but said that finding sources is very difficult.

“There’s not much time to work on it when you’re always grading exams, and reading term papers and book reports,” Price said.

In addition to the book, Price and his wife are planning to visit their daughter who works in the Peace Corps in Africa.

“And there’s a possibility I might come back and teach a course or two,” Price said with a smile.

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