Don Gieschen

Don Gieschen

6th ASURA President

The following material is taken from A Decade of Success An Illustrated History of the Arizona State University Retirees Association by Dean Smith, edited by June P. Payne.

“Don Gieschen earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and his master and doctorate degrees from the University of Minnesota. He served on the faculty of Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota before coming to the Arizona State University Department of Philosophy in 1959.

. . . When the first appeal for retiree volunteers went out during the association’s organization meeting, he stepped forward and offered himself as ta member of the board of directors or as a member of the education committee.

‘I was sure I would be put to work right away,’ he says, ‘but strangely enough, my offer went unheeded. Nobody responded to my volunteering effort.’Philosophers are supposed to be philosophic about such slights, however, so he shrugged it off and awaited his summons. It cam eventually, when President Anne Pittman asked him to chair the education committee.

Gieschen soon demonstrated his dedication and his ability. Retirees Day was his pet project, and he envisioned it as an all-day session of seminars, discussion groups, and visits to university classrooms and research centers. His plans were trimmed a bit, with a format of morning seminars, a luncheon speaker, and a few campus tours. But the basic idea continues to draw large numbers of ASURA members to Retirees Day.”

During Gieschen’s term in office he oversaw:

  • The fight to keep the community colleges from offering upper division courses
  • A revision to the Annual Meeting to shorten the lengthy business session and its sometimes lengthy committee reports by having committee chairs submit a one page written report in lieu of the oral presentations
  • The agreement to create an $11,000 scholarship endowment fund with the ASU Foundation