Bill & Jackie Urban
Brief bio: The Urbans are both retired Monmouth faculty. Bill taught history at the College for more than 50 years, and Jackie was an instructor of German for 30 years. An internationally recognized scholar on Eastern Europe and warfare, Bill has written two dozen scholarly books. Among many awards he accumulated during his tenure at Monmouth, he was the first recipient of the Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence and was a two-time recipient of the prestigious Hatch Award for Distinguished Scholarship and Research.
Their gift: Throughout the past half-century, the Urbans have supported the College in many ways, including a gift of stock to support travel abroad for Monmouth students.
Travel not foreign to them: The Urbans are big believers in the importance of travel abroad. They’ve lived abroad several times, as Bill led Associated Colleges of the Midwest programs in Italy, Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic. He also led nearly a dozen student trips, with destinations including Germany, Italy, Ireland and Mexico. He appreciates the off-campus efforts of faculty colleagues such as Tom Sienkewicz and James Godde, who’ve also taken students to spots around the globe.
Talking travel: “My students got so much out of those trips and came back with an enthusiasm about education. It was very rewarding to see students’ preconceived ideas and fears melt away, replaced by broader understandings. We often think we can’t understand people different than us, but we can. That’s always been the point of a liberal arts education.”