An Appreciation for a Mentor

All of us can remember favorite teachers; we treasure the ways that they have influenced our lives. Now retired, I look back on my 30-plus years as a foreign affairs professional and remember my undergraduate political science professor, James Magee, with fondness.

As a 1972 graduate of Grinnell College, I only had a three-year overlap with him, but during those years, Jim became my mentor and guide into the complexities of international affairs. His sense of history and appreciation for irony inspired me and profoundly influenced my understanding of how the world works. I had the additional good fortune to see our relationship evolve in later years into one between friends and professional colleagues.

When I received an honorary doctorate degree from Grinnell College in 2009, I was honored by his presence at the ceremony. My remarks then provided an opportunity to express in public my personal gratitude for his contributions, knowing that they extended far beyond me and my cohort.

Author Info: 
Greg Thielmann ’72
Arlington, VA
United States