Harry Dennis

Professor Emeritus
California State University

I entered the U of A in 1958, fresh out of Tucson High School, without any idea of what my major interest would be at the U of A. I had grown up in San Antonio Texas, surrounded by Mexican playmates and speaking Spanish and I always had that as a background. But I wanted more. So, I started with classes in anthropology. Then Dr. Renato Rosaldo, the Head of the Romance Languages Department, known for helping struggling students, took me under his wing and through his expert guidance and encouragement (he secured many teaching positions for me as well as a then NDEA Doctoral Fellowship), I completed a B.A., M.A. and PhD in Spanish, with a minor in Portuguese. Every professor that I had in the department was excellent and my wife and I formed lifelong friendships with many of them. Dr. Dolores Brown, Dr. Robert Anderson and so many others provided through the excellent graduate program a solid academic base for skills and knowledge that I could use in teaching. While studying for each degree I taught at the U of A, Texas A and M, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, culminating in a 32 year career at the California State University in Sacramento, CA, where I created a program in Mexico and directed that program as well as our program in Spain. I was the Graduate Coordinator there as well as the Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages before retiring in 2002, after teaching for 40 years. It was an exhilarating journey, thanks to the encouragement and skills that I learned from superior professors at the University of Arizona. And I still have great memories of my time there when the U of A was much smaller.