Posted on: February 3, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Rosie Finnegan, Opinions Editor

Humanities professor Maryanne Terpstra passed away on January 25 at 66 years of age surrounded by her loving family. Students in Terpstra’s spring classes were informed when they came to class last week.

As the news broke, students and staff shared their feelings and memories of this beloved professor. 

“Professor Terpstra’s passing was very shocking,” sophomore Lindsey Kusturin said. “In general it was just very upsetting to hear. I think you forget how fragile life is until you hear about someone passing so suddenly and it really forces you to face the mortality of yourself and those who surround you.” 

Terpstra taught at Moraine for 21 years. According to the people close to her, throughout those years, she always had a smile on her face and never missed the opportunity to wear a bedazzled hat. She did her best to connect with those around her, stopping to ask questions of everyone that she came across, and paying very close attention to details. 

“She always wanted to make that personal connection with her students and the staff and the faculty she worked with, and she did that very well,” said Lisa Kelsay, assistant dean of Liberal Arts. Kelsay broke the news to Terpstra’s students, accompanied by a counselor to provide help to anyone who needed it.

Students and colleagues say it was clear that Terpstra had a true passion for teaching. She loved speaking to her students and could often be found meeting with them during her free time. And according to Kelsay, she was able to speak on plenty of different topics, with all of the knowledge she had built up over the years.

She always wanted to make that personal connection with her students and the staff and the faculty she worked with, and she did that very well.”

Lisa Kelsay, assistant dean of Liberal Arts

“My favorite memories with Professor Terpstra were how she would always have us watch some of her favorite movies like Urban Legends and The Bride of Chucky,” student Julio Gonzalez said. “She was always nice and would offer us extra credit to just watch some of her favorite movies and talk about them. She was definitely one of my favorite teachers at Moraine.”

Terpstra was also known to talk about her family, especially her grandson Mikey. Kelsay shared that she would often talk to fellow faculty about what she had done with him over the weekend. 

“She glowed when she talked about her family,” Kelsay said. 

In recognition of her desire to help students, a scholarship is being created at Moraine in Terpstra’s honor. 

“For some people, it’s appropriate to plant a tree. For her, because of her passion for students, this really didn’t take any thought at all,” Kelsay said. “It fits with what we know about her. It was just a perfect match.” 

Anyone who is interested is welcome to donate to the scholarship fund online or through a check in the mail. For more details regarding the Maryanne Terpstra Fine Arts Scholarship, click here.