College of Letters and Science Testimonial

Arthur Pejsa


Arthur Pejsa
"My college career began in 1940. After having survived thirty combat missions as a B-29 Superfortress pilot over Japan, during three years in WWII, I returned to UWSP (then Central State Teacher College) in Oct. 1945. As a Math major, with Physics and History minors, I well remember Doc Nixon's fine Calculus class and Mr. Rightsell's Physics classes; I too recall how impressed we were with Dean Steiner's minute details of how, in the battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Meade's Union forces on Cemetery Ridge repulsed Pickett's Charge, how the 1st Minn. held Little Round Top while losing more than half its men and that half of Wisconsin's adult males served in that great war to help "Save The Union."

I well recall Mr. Schmeekle's class in conservation and how he preached, they cut the green top off Wisconsin and sent it down the river; we must replant and restore it -- and so we replanted tens of thousands of pine seedlings. I recall with joy the basketball squad trips and the many concerts and trips with Mr. Knutzen's Men's Glee Club.

I was also honored to teach two Math classes, in that post-war emergency, while a student -- Unheard of! I won the Phi Sig Award to the top graduate of the class of 1947.

I am pleased that my studies here and much graduate work later enabled me to make important contributions to the Apollo Moon Program, the Space Shuttle, and other aerospace projects."