Scott Crider, Ph.D. - First Generation Faculty - University of Dallas

Scott Crider, Ph.D. - First Generation Faculty

Scott Crider, Ph.D.Scott Crider, Ph.D.

Professor, English

I was born and grew up in Sacramento in Northern California, where my father was stationed at McClellen Air Force Base, and my mother took care of my two sisters and me. My Mom had gone to UCLA for a semester, but dropped out when her family’s business failed; my Dad had just his high school diploma.

So my older sisters went to California State University in Sacramento—because it was there and affordable. I went there because they did: I didn’t even look at other schools.

I lucked out and got a fabulous education from teachers who had themselves received marvelous liberal educations at fine schools. I became a lover of learning under the influence of those remarkable teachers, whom I still use as models in my own teaching. They taught me to read and write, and listen and speak, the arts fundamental to humanistic education and civic participation, and those arts prepared me for the highest level of academic work.

I kept going for a Masters after the Bachelors, thinking I would teach high school. No one in my extended family had ever worked in higher education. That was for other people. But my wife persuaded me to get a Ph.D., so I went to the University of California at Riverside, after which I came to UD, where we’ve been happy ever since.

I was an FGS before the term existed, and like others, missed opportunities because my family did not know they existed and those opportunities often required a pedigree I didn’t have. But I thrived anyway, in part because of my privilege as a straight white male, in greater part because I wanted to learn and I was willing to do the hard but glorious work of catching up (which never ends). Eva Brann, the legendary woman of letters at St. John’s College, Annapolis says that any student who can read and count is ready for a liberal education—if, that is, they desire the education and are willing to discipline their desire to achieve it.

At UD, I have been committed for thirty years in helping those students of desire and discipline thrive in the liberal education we provide, animated by the obvious belief that every UD student is a UD student, whether they are from a legacy UD family, or they are from a family like mine, whose parents were good, intelligent, industrious people who sacrificed a great deal so my sisters and I could have an opportunity they did not.

After my father retired from the USAF, having put his children through college, he went to American River Junior College, where he did what I never did: he graduated with an AA with a 4.0 GPA.