Doug McReynolds


After NHS I made my way up to Columbia and the U of Mo, finally leaving with a Master's in English in 1969. I taught at East Carolina University until 1974, by which time I had come to realize that I'd not get far in the teaching business without a doctorate, and so it was off to the University of Denver for more graduate school. Earned a Ph.D. in early American literature/creative writing in 1977, and spent the next couple of years building houses in the Denver area before migrating to the English Department at Upper Iowa University in 1980, where I remain.

I've worn a variety of hats here, and currently split my time between teaching English and directing the university's academic assessment office. I've had the good fortune to be in a position to take groups of students to Europe several times since 1992, seeing much of Italy, Spain, France and England in the process. Also during the past decade or so I've been advisor to Upper Iowa's African American student organizations--Alpha Nu Omega for men and Phi Beta Delta for women. It's a rewarding life if not a particularly enriching one.

I "retired" from my 10-year position as chair of the Fayette County Democratic Party in 2000, but remain involved in politics, and I've been on Fayette's city council since 1995. I've long since stopped trying to brew my own beer, but I do make maple syrup in the spring and salsa in the fall. I'm an occasional competitor in Master's swimming (I have a collection of silver medals but no golds from the Iowa Games over the years), and it's a good day at the golf course when I break 50.

Between my wife Barbara, who keeps an apartment in Maquoketa, IA, where her psychology practice is located, and me, we are supporting nine cats, a couple of whom show up only for meals but most of whom are fully domesticated.

My older son (Roland) was born in North Carolina in 1972; my younger son (Quentin, 1974) and daughter (Leslie, 1977) were both born in Denver. My stepson (Scott) was born in 1969, before I knew him. Roland followed me to the University of Missouri, then went on to law school at the University of North Carolina. He fell in love with the Chapel Hill area and stayed. Quentin graduated from Upper Iowa, and Leslie from Stephens College, and then both of them took off for North Carolina, too, where all three currently reside. Roland and his wife, Katy, made me a grandfather in Feb. 2001 when Emerson Jones McReynolds came along. Scott is in Prairie du Chien, WI, about 50 miles away.

My mother still lives in Nevada, and I try to get down to visit once or twice a year. I used to see Mac Hornecker occasionally when he was teaching art at Upper Iowa's archrival Buena Vista University, but his sculpture commissions have apparently been more lucrative than my academic essays, and he has retired and (I think) gone back to Missouri.

--Doug McReynolds