Ira Cohen was dedicated professor, administrator

Editor’s note:  Are there former mentors you would like to connect with again? Illinois State staff will find them and share their updates in a future issue, including contact information. Send the names to Susan Blystone at, call (309) 438-2667, or mail to 1101 N. Main Street, Normal, IL 61790.

The last 11 years since my retirement have gotten ever more interesting. Ann retired as well, leaving her post as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. We relocated to New York City during the summer of 1998 and have remained there since.

Life is divided into several segments. I joined the Illinois State faculty in 1965. My last 18 years at ISU were devoted primarily to the Honors Program, leaving my work in history largely untouched. I have joined one of the faculty seminars run by Columbia University, and am slowly picking up where I left off a couple of decades ago.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the cultural activities in the city. We basically have focused on several museums. The Met, and MOMA top our list—but not exclusively. The performing arts require discipline; during the season we see several plays, subscribe to the New York Philharmonic, and The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. If there are too many cultural opportunities, what does one say about the dining opportunities?

Finally, in my retirement I have become a gym rat. This plus our daily walks of our very large Weimaraner have kept us busy and tired. However, I am not totally out of touch with my ISU past—I routinely join Cal Pritner, emeritus professor of Theatre, for coffee and swap notes.

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