By Black Gold Staff
Taft College Professor Gary Graupman will be retiring at the end of the spring semester, ending 16 years of service to the West Kern Community College District.
Graupman has taught English, journalism, speech, mass communications, photography, and film studies over the years.
Having been born and raised in Taft, he attended Taft High and Taft College and then worked in the oilfields. He returned to college at California State University, Bakersfield, in 1987 majoring in communications with a minor in English Literature.
Graupman graduated in 1990 and went on to earn a master of arts in English with an emphasis in composition in 1993. He also earned four teaching credentials.
Graupman worked in special education teaching severely disabled students for 11 years with the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office and the Kern High School District at Stockdale High. In 2001, he accepted a position at Taft College teaching English. He later moved to speech and journalism and became the advisor for the school paper and the only advisor for the Black Gold magazine when the journalism program was revamped.
His hobbies include photography, travel, theater, and music, especially the blues. He and his wife Glenda have traveled to many countries including England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Australia, Spain, and Italy.
To celebrate his retirement, he and his wife are planning a trip to Amsterdam to board a ship for a Baltic cruise and after, spend a week in Paris. They also have two blues festivals planned.
Later this summer, Graupman will attend Camp Shakespeare which he claims, “It is lame, but a lot of fun,” held at Cedar City, Utah. Then he and his wife will go to South Lake Tahoe to attend the Shakespeare festival there.
Graupman commented about Taft College that the only thing he doesn’t like about Taft College is the drive as he lives in Bakersfield.
When asked about his car — a 2005 Lexus LS430, which has only 100,000 miles – Graupman said. ”I’m going to drive it until the wheels fall off. I may even want to be buried in it.”
He has fond memories of Taft College.
“The people are the reason the college is such a great place,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the students and working with staff and faculty.”
He and his wife plan on traveling and enjoying their retirement years and hearing a lot of music and seeing a lot of plays.