Graduating Senior Spotlight: Q&A with Bob Mecum

Bob Mecum in the University of Minnesota's graduation robes

Hometown: Minnetonka, MN

Major: Music B.A.

Activities you are involved in: Minnetonka Symphony

What brought you to the University of Minnesota and how did you end up choosing your major(s) and minor(s)?

I came to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities after my early retirement from software consulting for the manufacturing industry and with the additional incentive of discounted tuition for Minnesota residents 62 years of age and older.

Which CLA class or professor has had the biggest impact on you? Why?

POL 4737 American Political Parties gave new and unbiased insights into American political parties and their driving mechanisms to stay in power.

What course would you recommend for other students in your major? And for students outside of your major, what course would be a good introduction to what you study?

3251 Popular Music and Mass Culture is an excellent and up to date on the current music industry structures that exist today.

Tell us about a class you still think a lot about.

AST 1001 Exploring the Universe is a wonderful entry level into Astrophysics and the scientific method of proving the truth to what actually exists in the observable universe.

What has been your favorite part of your experience with your department(s) and within your major(s) and minor(s)?

My favorite parts of my departmental journey experience are many. Specifically, performing in ensembles, performance piano, music history and the summer international Reggae Festival.

What is one aspect of your major or minor that has surprised you? What do you wish more people understood about what you study?

I have been playing my instrument for over 40 years semi-professionally and the lessons I took with Steven Campbell, adjunct professor and principal tuba with the Minnesota Orchestra, unveiled so much more about tuba performance than I expected.

What are some ways you have found community within your major/minor department(s)?

The university’s focus on IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility) has made me feel welcomed amongst the younger generation with the school of music community.

What is your dream job? How is your liberal arts education helping you reach your post-graduation goals?

I may be late to achieve my dream job, due to my elderly age, of winning an audition to a major symphony orchestra as a principal tubist and recording musician. My University experience has improved my abilities and further matured my musical understanding.

Which of the core career competencies do you think will help you the most in your future career?

I am retired from my 3 careers and instead will be focusing on the enrichment of the remainder of my life through education.

If you had the world's attention for 30 seconds, what would you say?

Stop killing each other. We all need Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility to bring enrichment to humanity and redirect our energies to realize our species' potential.

If you could be any member on a TV show, who would you be?

I would like to be the male lead in The Big Bang Theory, Leonard Hoffstader. Experimental physicist and husband.

Is there an app you hate but use anyways?

The accelerated language learning equivalent of Canvas. The pace of learning was too fast to keep up. I instead used the language modification option.

What's next for you? What are your post-graduation plans?

Retirement, education, travel and grandparenting.

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