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|AEB Profile Bacher|
THOMAS BACHER AEB PROFILE
Double major in German and History.
Where are you from?
I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, I went to Hiram when I lived in Middleburg Heights.
Where do you currently live?
3 words to describe yourself?
Inquisitive, athletic and scholarly.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I do bonsai gardening. I have five or six of them. Now that I am retired, I will try to do more cuttings and add maybe try to make a few more plants.
How did you find Hiram?
One of my high school teachers was an alumnus. He recommended that I take a look at Hiram.
What clubs were you involved in?
I was on the debate team, radio/ WHRM, the pioneers and played golf.
Your favorite Hiram traditions?
My friends and I played basketball every Saturday morning in the gym for fun. One time there was a pig roast on campus and during the fall, we went to Professor Eugene Peters and Professor Damaris Peter-Pike’s house on Saturdays to watch football and cook hamburgers.
Wilson Hoffman for history. He was very sarcastic and an inventive sort of guy. It was very entertaining to go to his classes because he was willing to call on people to see if they were paying attention.
What is your favorite location on campus?
I was one of the few people in the pioneer’s club. As a senior and a history major, I lived in Pendleton house, it was like an old boarding house, it was co-ed, we each had our own room and it was very unique from the dorms on campus. It was a lot of fun and during the day, classes were held there too.
What is your favorite Hiram memory?
This is hard to choose but, I loved the fall when I returned to campus after summer vacation. The view from the Kennedy Center, looking east, was absolutely stunning. All of the colorful leaves were like a welcome back to Hiram.
What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?
How to deal with many things, how to adjust and think a lot. It provided a basis for being able to go into many situations with the ability to handle it and adjust as needed with problem solving. Hiram helped me develop communication and writing skills, this has helped tremendously throughout my career since I am able to write and think well.
Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?
Yes, I didn’t realize it as a student how Hiram was preparing me, but it taught me how to learn. If you can learn, you can go into the world and do a variety of different things. You also don’t feel awkward in situations as you might have without that skill.
What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?
I went straight to graduate school in 1980 at Kent for political science. Then, I went to work in New York City and spent the rest of my career in the publishing business, in a variety of companies and positions. I started in ’82 at the Cambridge University Press office in New York then worked at Longmans in New York, I was the press director at Purdue University from ’97 to ’08 and I came back home to work at the Akron University Press for several years until my retirement in 2016.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
I work part time as a starter at a golf course, so I get to golf for free. I volunteer and give history tours at the McKinley Museum in Canton, Ohio. I will teach a course, Professional Editing and Publishing at Hiram this fall, and I hope to eventually write a novel—my life goal. I also keep busy as a high school soccer referee and work in my garden. I try to keep doing things that are fun. The class I will teach is really fascinating, I have been in publishing for so long that it will be second nature for me to teach it. I am also a part of the alumni association, I created an eBook/ iBook on Hiram traditions for incoming freshman.
What brought you back to Hiram and why the Alumni Executive Board (AEB)?
At a certain point in time, I wanted to contribute more to the college several years ago. Hiram’s struggles were coming to light, so it was a way to get involved and I was already a university press director so in those schools, it was natural for me to know a lot about what was going on and what problems they were facing.
I joined AEB five years ago.
Anything else you would like to share?
The history at Hiram has many traditions and many interesting people who have gone to school here. It is important to understand that heritage and sometimes the story is not told well. I think it is told better today with all of this new stuff.