A Tale of Two Chairs
From Father to Son Emerges Rare University Legacy
By Jeff Murphy
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Relaxing in his office chair talking about his career in academia, Mick Luehrman exudes great confidence in having learned from outstanding teachers. He flashes a warm grin as he talks about the University of Central Missouri's Department of Art and Design, not just how it is today, but how he remembers the people who touched his life back in his garage band and College High School days. Having moved to Warrensburg in the mid-1960s, the son of a college professor, he became acquainted with the art faculty long before he ever taught in a campus classroom.
"There was a whole generation of teachers who were here at that time, and there was quite a bond among them. They were all great role models," he says, remembering names such as Ed Ellis, Richard Monson, Harold Reynolds, George Sample and Jerry Miller.
Then, as if to ensure he had not forgotten someone very important, he proudly adds the name of another person whom he insists "is a great example of what a teacher is." It's his father, Richard "Dick" Luehrman. His dad joined the university in 1965 and dedicated 28 years to teaching students in the art department, including two years as chair.
The Luehrmans have followed a rare path at UCM. For two members of the same family to chair the same department is unusual. First was Richard, then came Mick. Even more unusual are the different paths they took to reach the same destination.