The late Dr. Harold Jeskey, professor of chemistry at Southern Methodist University, had a signature look: a red tie. To him, red ties represented excellence, which is why he awarded them to outstanding students in his classes.
But his respect for, and understanding of, the young people he taught went beyond academics. During the tumultuous days of integration, Jeskey presented a red tie to a black student he never even taught...perhaps as an award for bravely facing racism.
Kindness and compassion, as well as academic brilliance, continually defined the professor's life. Born into poverty in 1912, Jeskey lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. A lifelong fascination with science and medicine led him to pursue a doctorate in chemistry. After joining the SMU faculty in 1945, he spent the next thirty-four years inspiring students to strive for excellence in all facets of life.
The Man in the Red Tie: Professor Harold Jeskey is a meticulously researched biography that stems from the author's deeply personal experiences with the professor himself. Interviews with family, friends, colleagues, and former students paint a vivid picture of a man whose legacy is deeply ingrained in the collective memory and culture of SMU.
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About the Author
As a student at Southern Methodist University, Sterling Emory Moore took Professor Harold Jeskey's organic chemistry class in 1951. He'd later go on to study medicine and serve in the United States Air Force. As a doctor, Moore worked in private practice, and held clinical teaching appointments at the university level. He and his wife live in Sachse, Texas, and have six children.
Following his graduation from SMU, Moore and Jeskey remained in touch for forty years. In 2010, when Moore learned that there was no biography of his late friend, he embarked on a five-year labor of love to rectify the problem. With the release of The Man in the Red Tie: Professor Harold Jeskey, Moore hopes to share the SMU community's beloved Professor Jeskey, and all that he stood for, with the world.