Two prominent School of Arts & Sciences professors are retiring this year—each with 40 years of service to the University.

Dr. Ellis West, R’58, professor of political science, is retiring after 42 years in the classroom. He teaches political theory and continues to publish research on the religion clauses of the first amendment.

West has witnessed many landmark moments in the University’s history, including major donations that helped the University to become nationally acclaimed. He also fondly recalls taking his son to Charlotte, N.C., in 1984 to watch the men’s basketball team win its first NCAA tournament game.

“You can hardly find a better place to be a college professor than the University of Richmond,” West says. “You have just about everything one would need to be as good a professor as one can be.”

Another political science professor, Dr. John Whelan, is retiring after 40 years at Richmond. He currently teaches a legislative internship and works closely with alumni in the political science field to bring their experiences into the classroom.

“The former students provide valuable support,” Whelan says.

Whelan arrived on campus soon after the first large Robins family donation was announced in 1969, an excellent time to begin a long career at UR. “The overall University was transforming,” he recalls, “and the political science department was just being created.”


This is an excerpt of an article that orgininally ran in Richmond Magazine.