Prescott College professor Sam Henrie reveals colorful past

Portrait by Amber Faigin.

By Rebecca Antsis
Staff Writer

He has been at Prescott College a long time: for 39 years, having taught over 40 different courses.
Official titles: Professor of Humanities, Professor Emeritus.
Education: Bachelor of Music from Brigham Young University, Masters in Music from the University of Utah, Doctorate in Educational Psychology at Berkeley.
Inspired by: Prescott College Faculty. Students. His wife — her character especially. And politicians: “I think they don’t get the appreciation they deserve. I think without the leadership we’d be killing each other and destroying nature even more than we already are. That isn’t to say that there aren’t vast continents of hypocrisy and self-serving people in politics.”
Related to three U.S. senators: Mark Udall (D-CO), Tom Udall (D-NM) and Michael Lee (R-UT).
Holy ties: Was shortly the Bishop of Nicaragua.
Who knew? Was a pall-bearer at the funeral of Guatemalan president Juan Federico Ponce Vaides.
Most important task for those in early adulthood: “Every person in my opinion is a work of art. I notice young people particularly trying to find their art style … what kind of person they want to be. … I think everything a person does to present themselves to the world is art. There are many, many beautiful animals. Most of them … I don’t think are capable of altering their presentation to the world. We are, and I think it’s a big deal.”
Henrieville: Population, 159. There is a town near Bryce Canyon in the Escalante region of Utah named after his ancestor.
The more the merrier: Has five kids and four grand-kids.
Passions of the abiding kind: Music. And the future. “[I’m not interested in] robots who clean our floors. What’s interesting to me is the mentality, the consciousness — not consciousness as we call it, but conscious awareness — of what the world is, how it works, your place in it. … All this I think is changing … rapidly for humans.”
Number of choirs conducted: Three.
Secret thespian: Played Chekhov, a baseball hero who gets tempted by the devil, and Benjamin Franklin in 1776. Henrie liked this role especially because ”I got to fall asleep and snore onstage.”
¡Viva la revolución! Friends with Violetta Chamorro, who published a rebel newspaper and became president of Nicaragua.
How to be free: “Know the truth and the truth shall set you free said Paul [of Tarsus]. But what is the truth, that’s the big issue with that.”
“I’d like to fight you,” & “Get over here, honey”: Nearly the extent of his knowledge of the Quechua language.
School lunch: Eats a tuna sandwich with carrots, every day.
Favorite ice cream flavor: Why, lemon sherbet, of course.
Curious about: Tweeting.
What has never left him: A sense of wonder.

This article appeared in the May 2011 print edition of The Raven Review.

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