To Barbara Harmon-Schamberger, her professor was magic.

He helped her go on to become a Rhodes Scholar, helped her testify before Congress when President Reagan wanted to cut education funding, and assisted her in becoming the attorney she is today.

Robert E. DiClerico, professor of political science and one of West Virginia University’s most beloved and recognizable faculty members, has done that with so many others over the past 40 years. Some of his students have become Rhodes or Truman scholars. Others are leading productive lives in other ways. He’s been a familiar figure to so many at WVU with his circular glasses perched on his nose and carrying his pipe through the halls.

Now, DiClerico is retiring from full-time teaching after 40 years of service to the University and will present “The Last Class” as the next event in the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas. This lecture will give the Mountaineer community a chance to hear from DiClerico before winding down his busy schedule to teaching just one class each semester.

“The Last Class” will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, in the Mountainlair Ballrooms. The event is free and open to the public. It will also be webcast live at

Over the course of his career, DiClerico has emerged as one of the nation’s leading experts on the American presidency. He is the author of Voting in America and The American President, and co-author of Choosing Our Choices and Few are Chosen. His scholarly articles have appeared in Presidential Studies Quarterly, Society and South Atlantic Quarterly.

DiClerico was honored in 1996 as an Eberly Professor for Outstanding Teaching. In addition, he has been named West Virginia Professor of the Year, CASE Professor of the Year, WVU Foundation Outstanding Teacher, Danforth Fellow and Amoco Outstanding Teacher.

In addition to his teaching and scholarship, DiClerico has given back to the University by shepherding dozens of students through the rigors of both the Rhodes and Truman Scholarship competitions, helping WVU’s best and brightest succeed in securing these prestigious awards.

DiClerico’s talk is co-sponsored by the Nath Lecture Series and the WVU Honors College.

The Festival of Ideas brings key figures from politics, business, entertainment, research, sports, scholarship and culture to Morgantown to share their wisdom. Speakers in the series open doors to thoughtful discussions about important issues and facilitate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge.

The series is supported in part by the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas Endowment.



CONTACT: Liz Dickinson; Office of University Events

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