A memory submitted by William (Bill) Sterling, Class of 1952

During my freshman and sophomore years, 1948-49 and 1949-50, in Liberal Arts, my favorite professor was Dr. Aaron Q. Sartain of the Psychology Department. (I believe Dr. Sartain passed away several years ago). Dr. Sartain gave the first college class lecture I ever attended at 9:00 AM on one September, 1948, morning. He began the class with “a funny story” that I remember to this day. As a freshman, first person in my family to ever attend college, and recently returned to Dallas after living for 7 years through high school in New Orleans, I was a bit nervous and apprehensive about just what to expect. Dr. Sartain set my mind at ease for that course, that day, and literally for my entire 4 years at SMU.

I enjoyed several other courses with Dr. Sartain including one or two in Applied Psychology during my junior and senior years in the Business School.

About 10 years ago (I’m really guessing on that timing) while attending some SMU event on campus, I met and spoke with Dr. Sartain again for the first time since graduation. Obviously, he had aged (haven’t we all ?), but he still had a bright gleam of interest in his eyes. After reintroducing myself, I told him how very much I appreciated him and his courses over the years, and that I considered him “My favorite teacher” at SMU. I think both he and I felt good about that — I certainly did, knowing how important it is to let someone know you care.