40 Years of Teaching, Mentoring, and More: Adair Robertson
William Peace University has changed quite a bit in the last 40 years. One person who has been around to see all of those changes is Associate Professor of Mathematics Adair Robertson, who will be retiring at the end of the 2022 academic year.
In addition to her time at WPU, Robertson taught mathematics for two years at Campbell University after graduating with her Master of Science in Mathematics from North Carolina State University.
When Robertson began at what was then called Peace College in 1982, it was a prominent two-year school for women only. Robertson recalls more two-year colleges and it being somewhat of a niche at the time.
“I love teaching, especially at the time to young women. I want math to be accessible to everybody, and there have been times when women have been left out of that,” said Robertson.
Thirteen years after Robertson began at the two-year college, Peace made the switch to become a four-year school. “From a faculty perspective, we wanted to see our successful students stay!” said Robertson.
In 2011, WPU went co-ed. While Robertson recalls being excited about the change, she also wondered what it would be like to teach men again. “I hadn’t taught guys since grad school; ‘I wonder what that’s going to be like?’ Well, guess what? It’s just like teaching anyone else!” laughed Robertson.
Some of Robertson’s favorite memories at WPU include the gift that keeps giving: graduation. “The pride in seeing your students graduating and moving on to hopefully very happy and productive lives is so exciting.” Robertson went on to say one of her favorite things about WPU is how supportive the community is. “It suited me just right. Peace has always been a constant,” explained Robertson.
“Adair Robertson has been a mentor and friend to me for 22 years, and she’s been a mentor and master teacher for 40 incredible years. She will be missed, but she’s done more for William Peace University than anyone could have asked,” said Charles Duncan, Vice President of Academic Affairs.
In addition to being a math professor here at WPU, Robertson is also the coordinator for International Studies. Robertson plans to continue to do this part-time with another colleague after retirement. She will be assisting in developing the international programs over the next few years.
Other plans after retirement include travel, birding, gardening, and fostering dogs through Saving Grace Animal Adoption. Robertson is excited about being able to spend more time with family who are in South Carolina and Georgia.
“In the end, while I have evolved as a teacher, what I do doesn’t change that much. My job is to have students learn mathematics so they can achieve any goals they may have in their life. Math can be a big door that shuts on people,” said Robertson, “and my mission has been to get our students ready for whatever is coming next.”