Richard Spangler

Class of 1977

Photo of Richard Spangler

I am very grateful that I chose the University of Notre Dame for my undergraduate education. An important part of my Notre Dame experience was the three years of study in what is now called the Program of Liberal Studies. It was a time of great intellectual growth for me. Reading and discussing some of the important books of the Western and Eastern traditions was challenging. I was a pre-professional major and the science courses were a good complement to the PLS curriculum.

After graduation I continued my studies at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and finished with a residency in Pediatrics. The important question is: How has a PLS education helped me in my career? Certainly, an exceptional liberal arts education is not vocational training. Instead, my reading, writing and communication skills have been enhanced by my PLS experience. No, I don't discuss War and Peace with the toddlers I see every day.

However, I need to communicate with parents, patients, staff and peers. I have to actively listen to better understand their perspective in order to diagnose and help solve problems. What better training for this than spending time in seminar working through these important texts?

Richard Spangler, 1977, graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1982. He completed a residency in Pediatrics at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois in 1986. Formally, he was Chairman of Pediatrics at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.