Read How Robert Stakenas ’55 Found His Niche
Bob spent the majority of his college years living with his fraternity Brothers in the Delta Chi house. In fact, of the six years he devoted to the University of Michigan, only two short years were spent living in the dorms. He fondly remembers the small, tight-knit group of brothers having a good time together.
In his eyes, the most proud moment for Delta Chi Michigan was that they were able to start and maintain a chapter at Western Michigan University, which was modeled after the success of their own.
During his time at the university, what was most important to him were two things: relationships with his brothers and the house itself. To him, it was much more than just a house. It was a “beautiful old house I could symbolically call my own,” he said.
Besides pledging Delta Chi, his love of music drew him away from the College of Engineering and into the School of Music. He was also a member of the Michigan marching band where he played the tenor saxophone and served as the band librarian. In addition to being involved in the marching band he played the bass clarinet in the concert band.
Post-college years, he taught music to junior high school students in Ypsilanti before he came back to Michigan in 1961 to work on a doctorate in Education and Psychology. In June 1981, his first book “Technology in Education: Its Human Potential (Diamond Jubilee series)” was published. Four short years later, his second book titled “Educating Hand and Mind,” by Stakenas, David B. Mock and Kenneth M. Eaddy was published.
He became an assistant professor at Florida State University in 1965 and, 32 years later, he retired as professor emeritus. Looking back on it, he views this 32-year run as a professor as his biggest success, besides his caring family.
His advice to anyone and everyone is to “enjoy what you do, develop a wide range of experiences and find something you love, would like to work on and can make a living with.” It took him a while to find his niche, but from his experiences in life, he believes that he finally found his as a professor and that others can find theirs as well.
Bob and his wife Margaret celebrated their 50th anniversary three years ago, still live in Florida and have two daughters, Carol and Linda. Carol is located in Boston, Massachusetts and Linda lives with her husband in Olympia, Washington. Bob and Margaret enjoy getting together with the girls when they come to Florida and just being able to be a close family again.
The last chapter reunion he attended was in 2006 and was able to reconnect with brothers in his age group. Although the topics are usually football and other university affairs he is pleased that they have been successful keeping in touch through occasional emails and Christmas cards.
In 50 years, he hopes that his family and children remember him as being friendly, supportive and for wanting to spend time completing projects and traveling together. He hopes that his coworkers remember him for his ability to prepare his students to compete in life and his brothers remember him for his support of Delta Chi and wanting nothing more than to see it continue to flourish.