FROM THE BEACON
By Rebekah Markillie|
In fact, Faller never planned on teaching at all.
He had originally planned on going to law school, but his adviser suggested teaching.
“He told me he thought I’d make a good teacher, and (asked) if I had considered that,” Faller said. “I thought well, you know what, I can stand to spend a couple years, because I had never lived on the West Coast, (and) move here and teach for a few years and then go to law school.”
He’s been teaching at UP ever since.
After his first two years, President Waldschmidt asked Faller if he wanted to stay, and after getting his doctorate in Salzburg, he did.
“I liked the fact that (UP) was part of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and that it was also a coed school and it was on the West Coast,” he said.
Faller has taken his teaching position seriously, emphasizing how his students can actually use what they learn in class in their lives.
“I’m a philosopher who likes the practical application of philosophy. Some of my colleagues are wonderful scholars and will get very excited over why Plato put the comma after the third word in ‘The Republic,’” he said. “But I never saw the importance of that to students, especially in core classes. I think philosophy is valuable in your life but it has to be applicable to your life, both as a person and/or professionally.”
Some students, like junior Monica Fadel, are hesitant to take philosophy classes.
“I was like ‘Oh God, I don’t want to take this class, I’m not really into philosophy,’” she said.
However, instead of being bored, Fadel found Faller to be a caring professor and an excellent instructor.
“He’s so knowledgeable about everything he says. You believe him,” Fadel said. “One of the things that struck me was how much he cares about his students. He genuinely cares about (them). Not just in academics, but the whole person. If you’re happy, he’s happy for you, he cares about you.”
Chair of the philosophy department, Andrew Eshleman, has only worked with Faller for three years but recognizes Faller as a “tremendous asset” to the school and the students.
“He makes a tremendous impact on his students and he develops long term relationships with a lot of them,” Eshleman said.
Faller’s retirement will have a large impact on the department as well.
“There is absolutely no way that we’ll find a person who, anytime soon, could be as influential as he is influential,” Eshleman said.
Outside of the classroom, Faller is part of 21 organizations and services, ranging from the Order of Malta to the Blue Key International Honor Society. He has traveled all over the world, from Russia to Austria, teaching nurses about medical ethics.
Next week, Faller will be traveling to Salzburg for the anniversary of the Salzburg study abroad program and then heading to Rome to see the Pope and the Cardinal O’Brien, Grand Prior of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, of which Faller is a member.
After he retires, Faller plans to spend time hiking the Pacific Northwest with his wife, doing more of his hospital work and adding to his writing collection.
“I have, on my computer, three books that I’ve been try to get out for ever and ever and ever,” he said.
Although Faller never planned to be a professor, his students have undoubtedly become an important part of his life.
“I will miss the students, really,” Faller said. “I enjoy that part very, very much, and that will be one of the biggest adjustments I’ll have to make.”