Professor of the Week: Steven Lemley

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The myth. The man. The legend.

Dr. Steven Lemley is known for his challenging classes and difficult tests. But some students might not know that there is more to him than all the stories that have been passed down from student to student.

President, 1982-1993

For 11 years, Dr. Lemley was president of LCU. The school was blessed by the time and energy he put into the university during that time, which included his leadership in moving from college to university status.

His presidential tenure was shaped by his personal history. Before Dr. Lemley became LCU’s president, he attended LCC (the junior college) as a student, from 1963-1965. He then moved to California to attend Pepperdine University, receiving his B.A. and M.A. in history. After obtaining a Ph.D. in communication from Ohio State University, he became the associate dean of student life and then dean of student life at Pepperdine, from 1972-1978. In 1978, Lemley returned to Lubbock, serving as academic dean at LCC until he took on the role of president from 1982 to 1993.

Dr. Lemley speaking at the inauguration of LCU’s seventh president, L. Timothy Perrin.

Everyday Rewards

While Dr. Lemley served as one of the many great presidents of LCU, he enjoys teaching communications as a professor even more.

He started teaching full-time in 2000 at Pepperdine and has now been a communication professor at LCU for seven years. To him, teaching is more consistent and more personally rewarding.

“Teaching every day, I find pure enjoyment working with students and content,” he said.

Dr. Lemley teaches Communication Theory most steadily and enjoys this class most of all. He says that Advanced Public Speaking is close behind, followed by Rhetorical Analysis.

Golden Advice

One thing that rings true to Dr. Lemley is that college is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He sees college as a time of growth and maturing, and a time to discover one’s own gifts and abilities. For some people, it’s even a place where lifetime relationships are made.

Dr. Lemley’s 53 years of marriage began at LCU as a student in 1963 when LCU was still a junior college. He was also the president of Kyodai, active in student government and a part of the A Cappella traveling chorus.

Even though he enjoys the social experiences LCU brings, he believes the educational aspect is most important.

“It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that universities exist to educate and [students]need to arrive with the understanding that they are here for education,” he said.

“When you come to LCU, come with a realization that the faculty will push you to learn about things you have never learned about before and to take those things with you.”

Golden advice, indeed.

To read more about Dr. Steven Lemley, visit https://lcu.edu/about-lcu/office-of-the-president/former-presidents/dr-steven-s-lemley-1982-1993/.

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