This Spring, Ron Albrecht Ends 38 Years of Helping Simpson Students Make Music

Story by Emily Brockman ’20

After 38 years, Ron Albrecht has heard his share of excuses as a professor of music-piano/music theory at Simpson College. Some of his favorite memories are of the creative excuses students concoct for skipping class.

“This girl skipped all of her class for an entire week,” Albrecht said. “I saw her on Friday of that week. When I asked her why she had missed class, she told me she didn’t know we had switched over to Daylight Savings Time.”

We all make excuses from time to time, but for Albrecht, retiring is not among them.

“It’s time,” he says. “I am in good health and wellness, and I know it’s just time.”

He has fond memories of his years at Simpson.

After earning his doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Simpson was one of the only colleges hiring. “The job market was tight at the time,” Albrecht sais. “I was hired right away for the fall of ’79.”

Albrecht has taught Music Theory 1 and 2, Discovery Music, History of Rock and Roll and piano lessons. He said he will miss most his interaction with Simpson students and faculty.

“One faculty memory that sticks out to me is when former president Bob McBride put me in charge of entertainment for our faculty Christmas Party,” he says. “He said he wanted it to be funny, so I had a faculty kazoo band, a bottle band, and had them come up with dance routines. Everyone thought it was a hoot.”

Albrecht and his wife, Barb, a teacher in Carlisle, raised their three children in Indianola. All three graduated from Simpson.

“My family and I have always been very happy being a part of Indianola’s community as well as Simpsons,” he said.

Albrecht says he’ll now devote most his time to being a grandfather. He also plans on continuing volunteer work, and to take vacations. Many vacations.

“I view my job as a lifestyle, not a job,” he said. “I am ready for a new lifestyle change where I can travel, road trip, be an outdoor-junkie, and not do anything professional.”

Albrecht has some advice for students and faculty.
To faculty: “Understand that students are paying lots of money. It is an honor to be here supporting them and helping them learn. The students are the reason we are here.”

To students: “Work hard and develop a high level of respect. Respect is the most important thing you can gain and give. Have fun because it’s a magical four years, but not too much fun,” Ron smiles.

To everyone: “Be open to change. Be open-minded and go with the flow. Finding out what you don’t want to do is as important as finding out what you want to do.”

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