Centre News

Getting to know...retiring government professor Bill Garriott

June 24, 2010
Garriott Dr. Bill Garriott, who retired this spring, was recently honored
at Centre’s 2010 closing dinner.
1. Position at Centre?
John Marshall Harlan Professor of Government

2. Where did you grow up (and describe the place in one phrase or sentence)?
Berry Hill, an incorporated suburb of Nashville, Tenn. A post-war tract housing development designed for returning GIs and their families, it was full of kids, dogs and playgrounds, while Nashville provided “big city” amenities—a wonderful place to grow up, and pure 1950s Americana.

3. What are your hobbies?
Sports and music probably top the list.

4. What did you enjoy most about coaching baseball at Centre?
First, it forced me to go outside and play every afternoon. Second, it made me appreciate what the “real” coaches—in this case Herb McGuire, and later Greg Wallace—do. Finally, it gave me an opportunity to interact with students outside the classroom.

5. Favorite artist and/or work of art?
Pieter Bruegel the Elder

6. Favorite novel or poem?
Well, I’ll have to go with three novels here. There are too many poems for even a short list. Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men; W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage; Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four

7. Most memorable trip or vacation?
Trip: Cairo, Egypt, with a group of Centre profs in 1990; vacation: driving from Danville to California and back with my wife in 1976

8. Favorite TV show?
The last television show I tried to watch with any regularity was The West Wing.

9. Favorite holiday?

10. Favorite singer and/or band?
Buddy Holly

11. Favorite food?
Ice cream

12. Favorite period of history to study?
Ancient: classical Greece; Modern: post-World War II

13. Three people, living or deceased, who you’d invite to the same dinner party?
Mark Twain, Molly Ivins, Bill Moyers

14. Thing you enjoyed most about teaching at Centre?
The people—the faculty and staff members and students with whom I have been able to work

15. Favorite memory from when you were a Centre student?
If I had to pick one, I would have to say Centre 2, Eastern Kentucky 1, April 18, 1964

16. What are your plans now that you’ve retired from Centre?
To lead an unplanned life

17. Educational experience that's been most helpful to you?
As an undergraduate, the Washington Semester Program. In graduate school, a summer internship I had in state government. Both shaped my academic interests in important ways.

18. Do you still hold the Centre record for longest home run?
I’m not sure where this idea originated, because we didn’t measure home run distances. I can say with confidence, however, that if I ever held such a record (which I doubt) it has been broken numerous times.

19. Favorite place on campus (and why)?
Fourth floor Crounse—my home away from home

20. Advice you'd give to a first-year college student to make success more likely?
1. Set good priorities.
2. Make good friends.
3. Establish a good routine—one that includes plenty of time for eating, sleeping, and exercise.

Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail leigh.ivey@centre.edu with your feedback.

Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 14th among all the nation's colleges and universities and No. 1 among all institutions of higher education in the South. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices.
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