Caps and Gowns, Then and Now

    As the Class of 1963 prepares to celebrate its 50th reunion, we ask three grads to think back to that time of celebration and anticipation

    By Karen Sherlock on August 9, 2013

    As the Class of 1963 prepares to celebrate its 50th reunion, we ask three grads to think back to that time of celebration and anticipation.

    Margo Wyley (Niewchas), 63 PBE

    What memories do you have of your convocation day?

    “Convocation was a culmination of all those years of study, all those classes and labs, all the sports we played and all the train trips, because that’s how the teams travelled. So it came to that day and it was just a flood of memories — we had such a good time sharing stories, meeting each others’ families, taking pictures with the profs."

    It was the culmination of a time in my life that I really treasure.

    Margo Wyley was one of only three women in a class of 28 to graduate from the School of Physical Education in 1963. Over three years of study, the group became “almost each others’ family,” playing on varsity teams — volleyball for Wyley — and sharing hijinks and laughter. She went on to teach high school phys-ed in Edmonton for 25 years. 

    Her daughter,Kim Hertlein (Wyley), ’00 BPE, now teaches high school phys-ed in Edmonton. Wyley cherishes the gift her phys-ed degree gave her — the chance to live an active life and teach about what she loves. As an educator, she says, her goal was to teach good attitudes and good effort through sport. She continues to stay active, swimming almost every day.

    Eric Schloss ’59 BA, ’63 MD

    Were there surprises making the transition from student to real life?

    “After graduating, I interned in Bermuda for four months. I walked into the emergency department the first day — as a young intern, I was feeling pretty good about myself, and they said ‘Oh, doctor, we’re glad you’re here. A man has been bitten by a shark.’ We had never learned in Alberta about shark attacks! Fortunately, that’s the last shark bite I’ve had to deal with, and that was almost 50 years ago.”

    Eric Schloss had planned to be a lawyer.

    Two years into pre-law, his honours English prof read one of his essays, called him into his office and asked gently whether he had ever considered science. Schloss took the hint. (Interestingly, his brother, Barry Schloss, ’61 BSc, started out studying medicine and switched to law.) Eric Schloss spent a number of years in general pathology. He now practises dermatology and dermatopathology in Edmonton and is a clinical professor in the U of A Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

    Schloss remembers his roommates piling into his 1954 Hillman to get to class in the mornings, racing down 112th Street (with his buddies leaning out the windows to guide him when he couldn’t see through the frosty windshield), parking in front of the medical building and making a mad dash to class. They usually arrived late.

    Jim Lockhart, ’63 BSc(Ag), ’67 MAg

    If you could go back, what advice would you give your younger self?

    “If I went back, I would take courses in drama and communications. I would still do an Ag degree, but I would also hone my skills in presenting my ideas. So much of my job over the years has involved communicating."

    No matter how smart you are, you have to be able to communicate.

    University was a big change for Jim Lockhart and his classmates studying agriculture in the early ’60s. Most had been schooled in small mixed-grade classrooms in rural Alberta. Lockhart credits the dean at the time, Fred Bentley, ’39 BSc(Ag), ’42 MSc, ’90 DSc(Honorary), and “superb” professors for helping his graduating class of 28 succeed. The day after convocation, Lockhart started a job with the federal agriculture department, launching a 32-year career with the Government of Canada. His work took him to farms and ranches across the Prairies.

    Lockhart lives in Edmonton but still owns and runs part of the family ranch in southern Alberta where he grew up.