Over his 55 year career at Loyola Marymount University, John Page – professor of electrical engineering— has witnessed change. He saw the merger of Loyola University and Marymount College,and the transition from an all-male student body taught predominantly by Jesuits in black robes to a co-educational university taught by a lay faculty. One constant, however, has been witnessing the transformation of students into confident leaders.
Page grew up with five younger brothers in South-Central Los Angeles, working with their parents at the family grocery store.
“Neither of my parents had an education passed grammar school, but they said to us ‘you’re going to college so you can do something’. And so, all six of us went to college,” said Page. Five of them, including Page, earned degrees from LMU.
When Page graduated in 1960 with a degree in electrical engineering, he planned to work in the industry to help support his family.
However, advice from his faculty mentor, Joe Battocletti, influenced Page to pursue his graduate degree at UCLA, where he earned his master’s and later his doctorate.
A year into his master’s program, Page accepted an offer from Battocletti to teach a control systems class at the university. “I was a little nervous because I would be teaching engineering majors in my brother Steve’s fraternity and they all knew me,” said Page.
After teaching for a semester, Page accepted an offer to teach Battocletti’s classes for a year while his mentor went on sabbatical, and has been teaching at LMU ever since.
During the summers, Page took a break from teaching to work in industry at places such as Douglas Aircraft, now Boeing. At the end of each summer, Page turned down offers to remain in industry and brought his practical experience back to the classroom. To him, teaching wasn’t the standard eight to five job, but an ever-changing experience that he enjoyed.
“A fun part of teaching, for me, is watching the students go from 18-year-old naïve freshmen, to confident seniors who are ready to go out into the world,” said Page. “To watch that change and think that maybe I had a little something to do with that change in some of those students, has always been a favorite part for me.”
Page will retire in May 2017 and looks forward to new adventures with his wife Anne.