Richard Scanlan - Latin
Posted Thursday, August 21, 2014 04:24 PM



Jean L. MacIntosh Mankamyer

There's been some discussion among we former Latin students of Mr. Scanlan and the impact he made on our lives as we reminisce about our school years, so I thought I would take the liberty of letting people know there is a Latin Prize Scholarship award that has been established in his name. A gift of $500 is given annually to a deserving Edina Latin student. If anyone would like to contribute to this fund, you can do so by following this

Also, you might be interested to know that People Magazine ran an article on him in 1978, after he left Edina for the University of Illinois. You should be able to access that article by googling his name, Richard T. Scalan 1978. Or, cut and paste this link in your,,20072284,00.html 

Betsy J. Cook Hoekstra

Thanks for posting about Mr Scanlon, the best teacher Ever!  He inspired me as a teacher. He made learning fun!  I still know my declensions!  He inspired a lifelong desire to visit the Roman forum, the Collesium and walk on the Appian Way and I did!   Thanks  Mr. Scanlon!

Jean L. MacIntosh Mankamyer

You're welcome, Betsy. He really did have a positive impact on us, didn't he? Great teachers affect our lives as well as teach us the subject matter. Amo, amas, amat...

Kea van der Ziel

Thanks for the wonderful remembrances of Mr Scanlan.  He and Mr Erickson were some of the best teachers I ever had.  I am always grateful that I took all 5 years of Latin.  Some of my best memories were from those classes and Latin Club.  The annual soccer tournament was one of the highlights for me.  Sports in high school for girls was limited in those days.  We had GAA and our language clubs.  I googled "Richard Scanlan Illinois" and found his obit in a local paper.  You can find it at › Opinion › Editorials.  There are 2 entries, both in June 2009, the month he died at 81 years old.  I am so happy that we have a fund in his name.

There were other great teachers during our high school years, including the chem teacher whose name escapes me now.  Because of him I majored in chemistry in college and almost went to grad school in chem.  Instead I went to med school.  Our English teacher was great as well.  There were many others.  We were very lucky to have such a talented group of teachers.  They certainly enriched my life

Jean L. MacIntosh Mankamyer

Hi Kea!

Thanks for your link to Mr.Scanlan's obit. If you took Latin for 5 years you must have attained goddess!

Michael H. Anderson

It was great learning about Mr. Scanlan's post-Edina accomplishments as a classics professor at the University of Illinois.  I have fond memories of being a student in Mr. Scanlan's first hour Latin class and in the famously fun Latin Club.  Think it was tenth grade and about 1962.  He was a wonderful teacher who made learning -- even of  a "dead subject" like Latin -- fun and interesting. Amo, amas, amat, . . . . indeed!

But what was great about Edina High was that there were many superb teachers.  The school seemed to hire only the best teachers who could sustain the school's reputation for excellence. Who could forget Ray Bechtle and his English classes; or John Matlon and his AP American history course, which taught me how to analyze and how to write essay exams; or John Sheldon, who advised both the student newspaper Buzzette and the yearbook Whigreen (spelling?) staffs;  Miss Bartholet and her wonderful extra-curricular World Affairs Club efforts; or  Robert  McCarthy, who taught a half-year economics course and advised the Student Council; or Hornet coaching great Willard Ikola; or Ray Smythe, who taught ninth grade government; or principal Rollie Ring?  I could go on and on.

 I wonder if any of these inspiring individuals are still living in the Twin Cities area.  If so, they should be invited to the reunion as special guests.

Margie S. Tudor Thompson

I agree with you regarding our wonderful latin teacher, Mr Scanlon.  I remember more about my latin classes than any other class I took.  But another favorite was English and speech teacher, Mr. Stotts.  He really inspired me and created lots of interest.  I was in his speech class at the time of President Kennedy's assassination.  I also remember and appreciated Ms Bartholet and Mr. Weisner, world history and economics teachers.  So many great teachers!!  We were really fortunate!  So many wonderful memories.

Mark D. Nordell

In Response to the Latin stuff, Marilyn How many times I have relished to tell the Latin Class story about having to wear the stupid yellow glove on my head for what seemed like forever, because I made a stupid mistake in class. Others are often horrified by such "abuse" when I get to tell the tale. I get to laugh every time. I love it! I can recall watching Brian G. We lived "catty conner" to each other, out practicing his splendid shot after dark while I tried to figure out Latin assignments. The Latin memorized still sticks with me; "Arma Virumque..." something or other....from the Aeneid. Even though Mr. Scanlan was somewhat imperious, his significance on this pretty lost young buck was deep. 

Jean L. MacIntosh

Mark, I think you may have been in my Latin class...I remember the baseball mitt. ;) Unless someone is privileged to have had a teacher like Scanlan, it's impossible for them to understand how he made you want to measure up to his standards. The schtick was all part of the entertainment that kept us engaged while he taught us discipline, the Latin language, Roman history and culture. He was my favorite among many truly great teachers I had. Although, I must admit I didn't exactly love writing "Nimium gummum amo" 100x for chewing gum in class. That happened several'da thought I would have learned that lesson the first time. 

Marilyn Dawson-McCarthy 

Oh my gosh, it is incredible to hear you all talk about Scanlan. One of the best teachers in my whole life. I hadn't thought "imperious," but you are right, he had that quality, which was part of his "schtick," as you say. Do you all remember how he would start the class with the 45 record of some soundtrack from "The Stripper?" I love the "Nimium gummum amo" story. I remember we all had Latin names which he assigned us. One fellow was "Hunc," (one of the larger guys), for some reason I didn't understand, he named me "Piu." I remember so well his drilling, "...dum conderet Urbem..." (in order to found a city [Rome]). I just checked out Mr. Scanlan on Google, and found that he died in 2009. I guess Edina HS and the University of Illinois have scholarships and awards in his name. Maybe you all know this already. I am sad.

Jean L. MacIntosh 

Yes, Marilyn, I remember The Stripper being played...I also remember him lowering a speaker outside Zsendry's German class and blasting the Spike Jones' satirical song, "Heil Hitler" , which echoed loudly in the courtyard, just to annoy the German class. I also remember taking the chariot a student had made, when we collected "taxes" from the first year students.You never knew what adventure awaited in Scanlan's class. My brother and his friends ( class of '68) , who called themselves The Edina Breakfast Club because they had breakfast at Perkins every Friday, were the ones who established the scholarship in Mr. Scanlan's name at Edina. They get together once a year and before he died, they visited Mr. Scanlan in IL to let him know how much he influenced their lives. It was a sweet moment. You may not have graduated with us, but if you lived in Edina and went to school in Edina, you're part of the club.