50 year commitment in review

Dr. Charles Dranguet Jr.
Zachary Araki/ The Lion's Roar 
 

Dr. Charles Dranguet Jr., professor of history and political science has enjoyed his 50 years of teaching at the university. 

The university honored Dranguet for 50 years of service at the Fall 2017 convocation. He was the second recipient of this honor in the university’s history. 

“It has been a very gratifying experience,” said Dranguet. “Fifty years went by very quickly for me because I enjoy my job, which was never a job. It was always a pleasure to come to school to teach, interact with the students, enjoy my colleagues.”

 

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Dranguet was attending medical school at Louisiana State University when he decided on a career change. 

“After three months, I realized that was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, for the next 50 years,” said Dranguet. “So, I came back to LSU in Baton Rouge, and I took a history degree. After a few years of graduate school, I was offered a job here at Southeastern, actually the geography department because that was my minor in graduate school. I took the job with the understanding that as soon as a job in history would open that I would be considered.”

Dranguet has been the director of the study abroad program and co-author of “Backdoor to the Gulf.” He has taught geography, history and political science. Department Head of History and Political Science Dr. William Robison discussed Dranguet’s other activities on campus. 

“He was faculty leader for a long time,” said Robison. “He was the faculty ombudsman here, which means he looked after the legal well-being of faculty members. He’s been on the faculty senate. He’s probably served on virtually every committee on campus just because he’s been here that long. He’s been a confidant of the past several presidents in the sense that after you’ve been here that long you become a good source for advice. He’s been an invaluable source of advice for me.”

Dranguet has seen the university change in several ways, ranging from a larger, more diverse student population and physical campus modifications to his profession. 

“When I was hired 50 years ago, there was really a shortage of people who wanted to enter the teaching profession at the university level,” said Dranguet. “We couldn’t find enough professors. Universities were growing so fast that there was just a shortage of people who wanted to teach at a university. Today, there are really a lot of people who have entered the professorial ranks at the university level. Jobs today are a little bit harder to find than 50 years ago.”

Robison recalled when he joined the university and met Dranguet. 

“We hit it off immediately,” said Robison. “We had a lot of things in common. We both liked to eat. We both liked to cook. We both played music. We both like history obviously. We just got to be good friends from the get-go.”

Despite plans to retire in December, Dranguet will still have the university in mind. 

“I am retiring, but I am not going to turn my back on the university,” said Dranguet. “Once you are in the academic profession and you get used to scholarly pursuits and research, you never really get away from that. It’s always, even in retirement, a part of your psyche. I’m looking forward to retirement, and I’m looking forward to continuing some of the work I have been able to perform for the last 50 years.”

In his free time, Dranguet enjoys farming, hunting, fishing and music. 

“My wife and I have a farm here in Hammond,” said Dranguet. “In the springtime, we grow cucumbers and squash. In the summertime, we grow okra. In the wintertime, we grow mustard greens. It’s a year-round small farm, which is very gratifying. I enjoy playing music. I play music in a little trio in the Hammond area.”

 

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