Ever the faithful servant, Brother Herbert Janson, S.M., could not resist the opportunity to teach once more after 60 years in the classroom.
Janson, who will celebrate his 81st birthday on Sept. 17, ended his one-year retirement as an assistant professor of mathematics at St. Mary’s University to fill an unexpected faculty void left for the 2004-2005 academic year.
“I was asked by the dean to come back for one year and it was an easy decision to make,” said Janson, who joined St. Mary’s in 1985 after 36 years of leadership and teaching at Central Catholic High School in downtown San Antonio. He had officially retired from teaching in May 2003.
“You feel better when you exert some energy,” Janson said. “I feel better teaching and being active. I hope it continues,” he said. Janson is teaching three undergraduate classes for the fall semester: two pre-calculus courses and one in business calculus.
In addition to St. Mary’s and Central Catholic, both founded by the Society of Mary (the Marianists) teaching order, Janson taught at other Marianist institutions as well, including Vianney and McBride high schools and Chaminade College Prep, all near St. Louis, Mo., and St. Joseph’s High School in Victoria. He also taught evening classes for nine years at San Antonio College.
Janson has pursued a lifelong interest in history, including mathematical studies and book projects on the Marianists. Among his teaching honors, the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Chicago in 1985 in recognition of his stellar career at Central Catholic and the Distinguished Faculty Award from St. Mary’s Alumni Association in 1992. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton in 1943, when he got to meet Orville Wright of Wright brothers aviation fame during commencement exercises, and his master’s degree in mathematics from St. Mary’s in 1965.