Will Millar had this to say about his retirement:
When I was in high school, I had no intention of going to college. The only thing I was interested in was playing my guitar. High school was easy – what I cared about was no challenge to me and the rest I let go. In the fall of 1974, my parents talked me in to going to GRJC (as it was then known) to study electronics (under Dick Foster and Jim Thompson), and thus combine my interests in electronics and music. As a special project, I built a 200-watt, vacuum-tube guitar amplifier, which I still have. The GRJC publicity department put me on TV8 – publicizing both the college and the electronics program. Henry Erb did the interview and it was broadcasted at Christmas time of 1975. I finished my AAAS in 1976. I then decided to pursue my growing interest in math and physics, returning to GRJC that fall.
I eventually transferred to the University of Michigan for my Bachelor’s degree. I did not finish there, instead I returned home to work as an electronics technician at JET electronics. In the fall of 1980, Dick Foster contacted me to see if I might like to try teaching. There was a need for someone to teach a day section of the “Electronics Math” class. This is where I started – and discovered I liked – teaching. I continued teaching part-time at GRJC while finishing my Batchelor’s in physics at Calvin College (University). I then learned that to teach in the physics department, I needed at least a Master’s degree. I applied for and completed an M.A. in physics at Western Michigan University. This then allowed me to teach in the Electronics, Math and Physics departments, which I started doing in the fall of 1984.
In the fall of 1991, there was enough work for me to become full-time, which eventually led to a permanent position in the physics department. In 1993, Bob Baumbach retired and I took over teaching astronomy (PC131). The first semester I was lucky to have one section of astronomy run. Since then PC131 became AS103, and AS102, AS106 and AS108 have been added to the GRCC course catalog. I also finished my Ph.D. in astrophysics at James Cook University (Australia) and published a book for amateur astronomers through Cambridge University Press (England) – just for the fun of it. There are now upwards of 12 sections of astronomy running, both in-person and online, with two full-time and three or four part-time instructors.
In 2001, the Music Department started their Recording Technology program. They needed a lab science course for this program and I was able to revive the “Science of Sound” course for their needs. This gave me the opportunity to combine my love of music (guitar playing), math, physics and to some extent, electronics in to one course. I’ve had a great deal of fun teaching all of these courses.
Working with people like Dick Foster, Marv Tyler (electronics), and Bob Cebelak and Jerry Johnson (physics) has been a privilege, a real honor and pleasure. They and others in the departments all made me feel like I belonged here at GRJC/GRCC over these many years. However, I have now reached full retirement age. I have returned to school, as a student or as a teacher, every September for 62 years straight. Now I’m ready to spend more time with my wife, my cats and my guitars. No comment about the order…
Many thanks to the people and my colleagues at GRJC/GRCC for many years of a great career in teaching.