Retiring Professor Profiles

By: Michael Crowe,
May 5, 2011

Richard Leake

A new professor fresh off a stint of teaching K-12 music, professor of management Richard Leake was the instrumental music specialist to a school district in Tacoma, Wash. prior to his arrival at Luther. He remembers that his first day at Luther came with an interesting surprise.

“When I came to Luther back in 1975, I came to teach economics in the business department,” Leake said. “When I got here I found out that I had also been named tennis coach, and so I said, ‘Why not?’”

Never one to pass on a challenge, Leake went on to coach the Luther tennis teams for a combined 25 years.

In his time here, Leake also founded the college’s Human Resource department at the request of President Farwell.

An experienced professor of management in the economics and business department, with a specialty in economic development and labor/human resource economics.

“Entrepreneurship has also become a special area of interest for me,” Leake said. “Maybe not a specialty, but an interest area. Entrepreneurs are the critical ingredient in developing our economy.”

Besides teaching, Leake also enjoys playing tennis, and is an accomplished competitor. on the national level. He holds a national singles title in the sport, which he won at the age of 55.

An avid traveller who never likes to take the easy way out, Leake is looking forward to some personal time. Having spent time all over the world, Leake’s favorite destination is the one he hasn’t visited yet.

“I enjoy change,” Leake said. “I’ve always liked challenges. I appreciate the opportunities that challenges and change bring. I’m looking forward to doing some different kinds of things.”

Leake is also planning to continue the work he already does as a certified workplace mediator, but is not looking to give up education entirely.

“I want to get back and do some things with tennis, maybe teaching,” Leake said. “Doing clinics and things like that, primarily at nice locations like resorts.”

Final thoughts:
“If I was going to pass along anything, it would be to take advantage of the opportunities while you’re a student to connect with other people,” Leake said. “Not just other students either, although that’s important. [It’s important to] continue to connect with faculty and staff and to engage yourself with speakers on campus. Just become more engaged with what’s happening, because college is a very unique experience, and there are so many opportunities.”

Fred Nyline

An incoming professor with a wealth of experience already under his belt, and some big shoes to fill.

“I replaced Weston Noble when he decided not to conduct the band,” professor of music Fred Nyline said. “He had done that for 25 years, and it was wonderful having Noble here. I always considered myself very fortunate to have him here. He was great moral support, and I felt really blessed.”

Nyline spent several years prior to his time at Luther directing high school bands in Austin, Minn., as well as several instrumental ensembles at the University of Minnesota, including the marching band. Nyline came to Luther in 1973.

“It was a great place to come to raise children,” Nyline, a father of three, said.

He also fondly remembers collaborating with his colleagues in a wide variety of ways.

“We had a fella here on campus who really loved tuba, and he organized a faculty pep band,” Nyline said. “I think that was the most fun I’ve had. Everyone that played was doing it just to have fun. And we did have fun!”

An accomplished conductor who has seen Luther’s music department grow exponentially through the years. Nyline remembers the opening of Jenson-Noble, and directed the first ensemble to grace the stage of the Center for Faith and Life.
In his free time, he loves spending time at his lake cabin and relaxing.

“I don’t have any hobbies, I just keep thinking of hobbies that I should start,” Nyline laughed.

An educator looking to continue his lifelong passion for teaching.

“I’ve had a lot of friends ask me if I’ll come and work with their ensembles. That, I love to do,” Nyline said.

Nyline is also in the process of filming an instructional video on conducting techniques for large ensembles.

“I have some particular things I like to do to make us sound the way we do,” Nyline said. “I like to think we have a unique sound.”

He’s also looking forward to spending more time with his fiancee in Columbus, Ohio, and traveling.

Final thoughts:
“I get such a kick out of [teaching],” Nyline said. “Students are the fuel that makes the engine run. I’m the engine, but the fuel has to feed the engine.”