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A New Century

From The Department of Modern Languages: A Bicentennial History 1804-2004

In 1901 Cranz is replaced by Edwin Tausch, Ph.D. At this point the curriculum includes German, French, Italian for pronunciation (in the Music department), and Spanish as an elective only. Interestingly, prior to his appointment as a modern language teacher, Tausch was a professor of Philosophy and assistant in Latin at OU. He remained in his language position until his resignation in 1907. 4

In 1902 a State Normal College (i.e., Teachers College) is established at Ohio University. The restructured university now consists of a College of Liberal Arts, which includes the B.A., B.Ph. and B.S., and a Normal College, where the B.Ped. is awarded. It appears that the earlier two-year foreign language requirement in this latter program has been reduced to one year. At least, the 1903 Catalogue (New Series, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 29) states only that the Secondary Education curriculum requires a foreign language in the Freshman year and a Methods and Observation course for Greek, Latin and Modern Languages in the Junior year.

For the period 1901 through the summer of 1907 Edwin Tausch is listed as the professor in French and German, offering beginning and advanced work in both languages, and even Scientific German (on demand). After his resignation he is replaced by Peter A. Claassen, Ph.D., Professor of Modern Languages (German and French). Claassen is soon joined by Lillian Gonzalez Robinson, Ph.M., Dr. ├Ęs Lettres, and more advanced Spanish is offered for the first time, although still not to the same level as French and German.

Over the next few years several personnel and structural changes occur. In 1911 Emil Doernenburg, Ph.D., joins the German staff as an Assistant Professor; the German and French/Spanish offerings are now listed separately (no "Modern Languages" department); by 1912 Claassen is gone and Frederick E. von Riethdorf, Ph.D., Associate Professor of German shares teaching duties with Doernenburg; Robinson has been joined by Lena E. Corn, A.M., Instructor in French and Spanish, and Wilbur R. McReynolds as a part-time Assistant in French; and that department is now called "Romance Languages," with formal Italian courses being offered for the first time (pp. 53, 55). In 1914-15 Allan L. Carter, A.M., is listed as an Instructor in German (replacing von Riethdorf); and two new courses are offered: "The Teaching of German in Grammar and Secondary Schools"; and "Scientific French" (pp. 61, 63). Perhaps the most notable addition for 1914 is the hiring of Mary T. Noss, A.B., as a professor of Romance Languages. Miss Noss was an influential promoter of French studies in the department for over 40 years, and even after her retirement, she continued to support the use of the French language in the community. The Mary T. Noss scholarship serves today to support French majors at the university. 5

4 Trustees Minutes, June 19, 1907, p. 15: Tausch tendered his resignation to the Board by letter at this meeting and again at the June 17, 1908, meeting, which they accepted with much praise for Tausch as "a gentleman and citizen of sterling integrity and a teacher of special merit . . ." (p. 37)

5 Of Mary Noss the Annual Report for 1913-14 (pp. 27-28) has the following to say: "Miss Noss comes from Southwestern State Normal School, California, Pa., where for the last five years she has been a teacher of French and German. [She is replacing] Professor Lillian G. Robinson, whose resignation was accepted in June, 1914. Miss Noss is a graduate of the State Normal School, California, Pa. Her degree was taken at Wellesley College in 1909. She was a student at The Sorbonne, Paris, in 1906-07. [The principal of the Normal School] says of her: 'She is enthusiastic in her work and has been very successful in every particular. She is very helpful in the social life of the institution, ... is remarkably gifted in Music and has been most helpful in every way.' "