Harry Kieval:A Champion for Undergraduate Education

(from the HSU Legacies Newsletter, Spring 1997).

Professor Emeritus Harry S. Kieval was a generous man who deeply believed in undergraduate education. Often crediting his academic opportunities to the numerous scholarships he received as a student, Dr. Kieval established the Harry S. Kieval Scholarship in Mathematics at Humboldt State in 1979, the year after his retirement. As much as $2,000 in scholarships is presented annually to outstanding mathematics students. The students are chosen by the mathematics faculty based on their scholarship application, academic performance, and faculty recommendations. 

The Harry S. Kieval Lectures in Mathematics, which Dr. Kieval also began in 1979, brings renowned visiting experts in the field of mathematics to campus each semester. The lectures are offered to students and the public.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Dr. Kieval was a longtime benefactor of higher education, supporting not only Humboldt State, but Southern Oregon State College in Ashland, where he had resided during his retirement; and Cornell University, where he received his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics.

Before coming to Humboldt in 1966, Dr. Kieval taught at the State University of New York-New Paltz, City University of New York-Brooklyn College, and the University of Arizona. Dr. Kieval's long-time support of undergraduate students included advising mathematics clubs, coaching for national competitions, helping establish honors programs, and assisting students in need of financial help.

With a generous gift of stock in 1987, Dr. Kieval was the first Humboldt State donor to establish at a charitable trust, which affords unique tax advantages and provides an income to the donor. Upon accepting this exceptional gift, President Alistair W. McCrone praised Dr. Kieval's example.

"Among our faculty emeritus," said President McCrone, "you have shown that an active interest in the well-being of undergraduate education need not end with retirement."

In 1991 Dr. Kieval was awarded a Humboldt State presidential citation for his exemplary academic service and philanthropic efforts.

The lasting legacy which Dr. Kieval has left at Humboldt is greatly valued by students and faculty.

His generosity continued well beyond his lifetime. A gift through his estate, combined with the funds from the charitable trust, assisted in providing an endowment to support the Kieval scholarship and lecture series.

In addition, the gift from his estate will also make possible the remodeling of Siemens Hall 128. This classroom, used for mathematics classes, will be dedicated and named for Dr. Kieval.

Dr. Kieval left a visual legacy on the Humboldt State campus as well, which intrigues many visitors and students who pass it by. Just a few yards from Siemens Hall is a sundial which he donated in February 1989. In a true scientific and educational spirit, Dr. Kieval also wrote two essays "How to Use the Sun-Dial," and "Time and the Telling of Time," to help others understand the theory of time-reading on the sundial.

On the base of the sundial is an inscription of a couplet that Dr. Kieval wrote. "He is happiest who has the power, To gain wisdom hour by hour." Because of Dr. Kieval's generosity the lives of many people will be enriched through the pursuit of knowledge.