Donald Clayton Bequest Honors Former CU Instructor
By Joan C. McKinney, editor
Donald Clayton modeled his 41 years of teaching after Harlie White's style of teaching. He will never forget the lessons he learned from White.
He said White, who retired from CU in 2005, had an "open door" policy at his office.
"Students were always welcome to stop by with questions and concerns. He welcomed all questions, and there was no such thing as a 'stupid question,'" he says.
Clayton was impressed that White would explain the problems to the students until the students were satisfied that they understood his explanation completely.
"Mr. White was always fair in his testing and grading. Mr. White would always ask the class for questions on the assignment as they began a class session. Next he would explain the next topic, then he would give us time to work on the new assignment until class was over," he said.
Clayton was a student at Campbellsville College from 1967 to 1971.
"Mr. White and Paul Osborne prepared me to go on to graduate school at Murray State University," he says.
He started his teaching career in the fall of 1971 as a graduate assistant at Murray State.
He taught eighth grade math at Madisonville Junior High School, and taught for two years at Earlington High School.
He taught 10 years at West Hopkins High School, and his final position was with Madisonville Community College retiring in June 2013.
Clayton continues to use the skills he learned from White and Osborne in their analytics, calculus II, trigonometry, analytic geometry, probability and statistics and differential equations and other classes.
He does private tutoring for students in high school and college math and makes "house calls" in students' homes with their parents present. He also does ACT reviews for math.
And he remembers May 15, 1968 quite well as Osborne presented him with the Freshman Math Award at the end of his freshman year.
"I was shocked when he called my name to come to the stage to receive this award," Clayton says.
And he remembers his first college class, Math 111 College Algebra, with Harlie White as professor at 8 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
"One of the class members was an international student," he says. "Mr. White went over to the student to make sure there was no language barrier. This showed that Mr. White was a sincere, caring professor."
As a tribute to the love and appreciation he has for White as his instructor at Campbellsville, Clayton has made a significant gift in his will to support the Harlie White Scholarship Fund.
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