Pitz returns to class

Veteran prof joins MCC staff


By Taylor Cameron

After being to many schools and countries Arthur Pitz was brought to Muscatine Community College by Dean of Instruction Jeremy Pickard. Pitz never has taught at MCC, but he once gave a public presentation in the library. “Mr. Pitz applied to teach the course for the college and he meets the qualifications required of an instructor,” said Pickard.

“Part-time teaching positions can be renewed each semester based on an agreement between the college and the instructor,” said Pickard. So, if Pitz wanted to continue teaching the class “Changes and Choices” he could.

He applied for an adjunct history instructor position about a year ago, but the class did not get enough enrollment. Later, Pickard received calls from history department students at St. Ambrose University and Augustana College recommending Pitz as an instructor at MCC. Pickard offered Pitz a job teaching the class “Changes and Choices,” which covers life experiences, values, and ethics.

“I was immediately interested because I had taught a class in introduction to world cultures,” Pitz said.

Arthur Pitz advice to Muscatine Community College students 1. Time management 2. Ask yourself why are you here 3. Have good study habits 4. Respect your instructors and other students 5. Read widely to broaden your vocabulary.


But Pitz said he could accept until talking to his wife Suzanne. She told him to take it.

Pitz had gone through a few months when for the first time in his career he had no teaching opportunities.

“I tend to function better if I have an opportunity to teach or give a presentation because my mind is sharper,” he said.

As he came to campus for the hiring process, Pitz found the staff to be very helpful. “It seemed they went beyond what they would ordinarily have to do.”

He also said, “I had the sense that people were here doing the work for a good reason.”

Pitz believes community colleges give people second or third chances no one else would offer. He has taught in very prestigious colleges but finds a more helpful environment at community colleges.

Pitz has written columns for the Quad-City Times about countries he and his wife had traveled to. His columns offer a historian’s point of view.

Pitz’s last name originates from Germany. His great-grandfather moved from a small town by the Rhine River to Manitowoc, Wisc., to escape being part of the Imperial German army. While his great-grandfather lived in Manitowoc, he and his wife became very well respected in the community and he continued his career as an engineer.

“The Manitowoc story tells a fascinating tale involving one of my great grandpa’s children who helped plan for and built submarines for the US Navy in WWII. They produced quite a few and most wound up in the Pacific against the Japanese doing quite a bit of damage,” said Pitz.

Pitz’s grandfather, Hugo, chose to become a U.S. army officer but was also educated as an engineer and moved to California.

Pitz was born in Cambridge, Mass., and during the war, moved by train to California to be closer to Hugo, and his wife. Hugo and his wife made saving money for college a family tradition.  Pitz’s father also became a U.S. army officer and was educated as a chemist. Pitz remembers his father as a very good athlete who also was on the college boxing team.

Pitz’s father had some patents to his name. “He developed the coating for Kentucky Fried Chicken, so the chicken would not leak through the bucket.”

Pitz and his wife have little free time due to being caregivers for their daughter Emily. They enjoy traveling and Amtrak vacations. They took a road trip to Nova Scotia, Canada, but what he really loves is just being with his wife and best friend, Suzanne. They celebrate their 50th anniversary in January.

He and Suzanne read and pray with each other. “Christianity is the core of our life,” he said.

“What I wanted a woman at least as smart as I am and as athletic as I am.”

Advice Arthur Pitz would give to the Muscatine Community College students would be

1.       Time management

2.        Ask yourself why are you here

3.       Have good study habits

4.        Respect your instructors and other students

5.       Read widely to broaden your vocabulary.