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Hal Lieberman Oral History


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Biographical Information:

Harold (Hal) Lieberman was born on March 22, 1922, in Toledo, Ohio. With degrees from the University of Toledo (BA, 1947), University of Chicago (MA, 1949), and Syracuse University (DSS, 1957), first taught three years at the Ohio Northern University. After three years there, Lieberman arrived at St. Cloud State University in 1956. He retired in 1985 as a full professor in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. Lieberman married his wife Mary Button in 1952 and had five children together. She passed away in 2010.

Transcript Summary:

In an oral history conducted by St. Cloud State University Archivist Tom Steman on December 13, 2016, retired faculty member Hal Lieberman spoke mostly about his life experiences that led him to teach at St. Cloud State University as well as the several organizations he was part of during his time there.

Lieberman, a first-generation American born in 1922, mentions how his mother and father were immigrants that settled in Toledo, Ohio, where Lieberman lived mostly during his childhood and as an undergraduate at the University of Toledo. After his graduate career at the University of Chicago, Lieberman attended doctoral school at Syracuse University. Here he had the opportunity to be involved with a summer program at the United Nations and met Eleanor Roosevelt. Arriving on St. Cloud State’s campus in 1956, Lieberman witnessed the transition of the St. Cloud Teacher’s College to St. Cloud State College, and was originally tasked with creating the social sciences department. Always looking for ways to get involved, Lieberman discussed the introduction of the Student Project for Amity among Nations program (SPAN), which included student tours and study abroad opportunities in Alnwick, England. Lieberman was also part of the Tri-College Great Issues Program meant to bring together the College of St. Benedict’s and St. John’s University with St. Cloud State. This program allowed for select students from all three schools to meet on a regular basis and collaborate with each other, and this initiative is what brought the St. Benedict’s and St. John’s together in present day.

Finally, Lieberman discussed his personal life, such as meeting and marrying his wife, Mary, after a six week courtship, and their five children. He concluded that he is 94 years old and is not yet finished with life.


Image ID: 11653

See additional files below for full transcript.

Lieberman Transcript.pdf (106 kB)
Hal Lieberman oral history transcript

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