North American Scholar

KNUDSVIG, Glenn Myron

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1940-12-11
  • Born City: Grand Forks
  • Born State/Country: ND
  • Parents: Merlin O., secretary-treasurer of Valley Piano & Radio Co., & Gerda J. K.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1998-07-28
  • Death City: Marathon
  • Death State/Country: FL
  • Married: Shirley J. Webster, 13 June 1964.
  • Education:

    B.A., Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota, 1962; M.A. Classical Studies and Behavioral Science, School of Education, U. Michigan, date; Ph.D. (psychology  and curricular design), 1974.

  • Professional Experience:

    at U. Michigan? dir., Reading and Learning Skills Center, 1971-73; interim dir., English Composition Board, 1977; U. Michigan Distinguished Achievement Award, 1977, consultant, National Latin Exam, 1979-98; head of language instruction, University High School, Ann Arbor, dates ;  pres., ACL, 1994-98    

  • Dissertation:

    “Cross-Dialect Learning: An Auditory Discrimination Model” (Michigan, 1974).

  • Publications:

    Latin for Reading: A Beginner’s Textbook with Exercises, with Gerda Seligson and Ruth S. Craig (Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 1982; rev. ed., 1986);  A Course on Words with Waldo Sweet  (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982); Critical Thinking: Building the Basics, with Donald E.P. Smith and Timothy L. Walter (Belmont, SCA: Wadsworth Publ. Co., 1998; 2nd ed., 2003).

  • Notes:

    Glenn Knudsvig’s life long commitment to teaching is shown by the fact that at vari­ous points in his 35 year career at Michigan, he not only held an appointment in Classical Studies but was also head of language instruction at University High School and a member of the faculty of the School of Education in the teacher training division. The products of his work for his advanced degrees was the application of cognitive psychology to Latin instruction. In 1977, he was the recipient of The University of Michigan Distinguished Achievement Award, and he re­ceived the LS&A Excellence in Education Award in 1991 and again in 1994. Many of us know him for his Latin for Reading coauthored with Gerda Seligson, or his A Course on Words, coauthored with Waldo Sweet. His most recent book is Critical Thinking: Building the Basics. At his death, Glenn had just finished his term as president of the American Classical League from 1994-1998. He also served, in tireless fashion, many national and inter­national associations concerned with education. But those of us who know Glenn know the mere recitation of his accomplishments and awards, while impressive, does little justice to the man. Few who encountered him could fail to notice his infectious enthusiasm for the Classics and his passionate commitment to their preservation and promo­tion. To this end, a personal anecdote may serve best to epitomize the true nature of his loss to us all.Glenn's first full year as president of the Ameri­can Classical League ended with the ACL's annual Institute in Baton Rouge in the summer of 1995. Despite the op­pressive heat and often torrential downpours, all who at­tended were struck by Glenn's energy and presence as he sought to establish task forces within American Classical League. These task forces were designed to address issues which are critical to the well being of teaching Latin and Greek. From early in the morning to late at night one could see Glenn huddled with mixed groups of educators, encouraging, exhorting, and building bridges. He sought and truly valued a wide variety of opinions and with his shining eyes and gentle enthusiasm he excelled at making each member of a task force feel a valued contributor to a greater cause. Soon college professors readily worked along­side K-12 teachers, each group learning from the other. This is the work that Glenn's untimely death has brought to a close. We will miss the man most of all and will feel the loss of his contributions. Yet his thoughts live on in his writings; his energies continue on in those he taught; and his love of the Classics endures in all whom he encountered.

  • Sources:

    APA Newsletter (October 1998) 4-5; Ann Arbor News (27 July 1998).

  • Author: Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr.