Spring 2007

Found Stories


Professor Henry Pronko's psychology class

Back when streaking was a more or less common phenomenon on college campuses, a sports fan was often the culprit and a football stadium the venue.

But in the case of Tom Mallinson ’71, WSU Professor Henry Pronko’s psych 101 classroom was the backdrop for his encounter with streaking.

Mallinson, a Denver resident who now works for Quest Diagnostics after service at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute (where he specialized in artificial nerve  studies), was taking Dr. Pronko’s required general education class in Duerksen Hall’s large lecture hall when he witnessed the event — along with Pronko and some 200 fellow students. (By the way, that’s Pronko behind the podium in the photo.)

As Mallinson recalls, ”Dr. Pronko made an otherwise glazy-eyed subject come alive.” The professor lectured the class on many attention-grabbing concepts, including Freud’s polymorphous perversity, which describes an infant’s or young child’s display of sexual behaviors that have no specific direction but may evolve into acts regarded as perversions in adults.

Pronko’s customary lecture was disrupted one day by a student running down one aisle, across the stage, up the other aisle and out the door — wearing not a stitch of clothing. “He was put up to it, no doubt, as a pledge in some fraternity or other,” hypothesizes Mallinson.

Pronko’s response? Quite professorially, he related: “This is a good example of polymorphous perversity.”

How’s that for a real-life demonstration of the concept?


A Key Memory

During her 98 years, musician Isobel (Nevins) Whitney ’31 has played countless symphonies and suites, but she remembers one piece particularly from her years as a violinist with the University of Wichita orchestra and strings ensemble.

Found Stories

Streaking to Enlightenment?