SPSCC’s tenured history professor, Doctor Nicholas Alforde, recently received his doctorate in 19th century European history from the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, England.
Conspiracies to undo treaties, right-wing extremists and secret meetings in hotels are only a few of the things Alforde mentioned in his doctoral thesis. Most of the history of Central Europe covered in his thesis has only recently been uncovered.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 jump started the discovery of old Soviet Union archives, providing more information available for study. Studying the history of Europe started as a hobby for Alforde. He now shares his passion with the rest of the world.
He said his interest was sparked while in the U.S. Army at a train station full of bullet holes in Frankfurt, Germany. He said he was fascinated how history surrounded him, giving him a desire to learn more about the past.
Alforde said, “Follow your passion, and stay in school.” He also said new students should get the tough stuff like math and writing “out of the way first.”
He lived in Germany several years after his discharge from the military and ended up at the University of Oregon. He finished his master’s degree in European history at Portland State University. SPSCC hired him in 1997 while he was still doing his doctorate course work.
He said he does not plan to offer any new courses this year, but he said he may resurrect a few past ones.
Currently 67, he said he is considering retirement in England at 70 years of age. He said he wants to continue teaching, studying and travelling around Europe after retirement. He said he hopes to then write a book at a small pub in Ireland.
Alforde said he wishes students would take advantage of all the study abroad programs at the college. Widening awareness of one’s self and the world is very important, he said.
“There is no single aspect of their college career that will change their lives more,” he said.