Finding a Vocation in a QU Classroom

Dr. Peggy Redshaw and Dr. Jerry Lincecum

Dr. Peggy Redshaw '70 and Dr. Jerry Lincecum

When Dr. Peggy Redshaw came to what was then Quincy College as a freshman in 1966, she had no idea she would spend the next four decades in a college classroom. "The idea of me becoming a college professor was unthinkable when I entered QC," Peggy says. "After all, I was a first-generation student from Quincy, Illinois, and knew only high school teachers who had graduated from college."

Peggy was intrigued by her foundational liberal arts courses at QU, including history and philosophy classes. But what really hooked Peggy was her hands-on labs in biology. Her passion was obvious to her professor, who asked her in her senior year to teach a plant biology lab for non-majors. "Trying my wings at teaching as an undergraduate was an important part of my career decision of becoming a college professor," Peggy says.

Peggy's professors—Fr. John Ostdiek OFM, Mr. George Schneider, and Dr. Al Pogge—always supported Peggy's career choice to become a college professor. "While there were no female role models in the sciences at QC, there was no doubt in my mind that the faculty thought I was capable of success in graduate school," Peggy says.

After graduating QU in 1970, Peggy was awarded a NDEA Fellowship at Illinois State University and continued her education in the biological sciences. After completing her Ph.D., Peggy was a postdoctoral fellow at St. Louis University Medical School and then taught for two years at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1979, she began teaching at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. In 2014, Peggy retired as Professor Emerita of Biology and currently teaches one course a semester as an adjunct.

Peggy attributes part of her career success to her foundation at QU. "The breadth of courses I completed at Quincy College as well as the ability to work with others has certainly enlivened my research and career as a college professor and allowed me to be receptive to a broad range of intellectual pursuits," she says.

A demanding career and long-distance travel to campus have not deterred Peggy from staying engaged at QU. Both she and her husband, Dr. Jerry Lincecum—a fellow esteemed professor at Austin College and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow—are long-time, generous financial supporters of QU, and Peggy serves on the National Alumni Board.

They also made the choice together to include QU in their estate plan. "Jerry and I both acknowledge that somebody ‘paid it forward' for us to attend college and graduate school," Peggy says. "We think that it is only fitting that we do the same for the next generation of college students. We have seen the difference that a good education did for us—the flexibility, the opportunities and the growth that continues on until today."

Open Doors of Opportunity

You can follow in Peggy's footsteps and open doors of opportunity for future students by including QU in your estate plan. Contact Julie Bell at 217-228-5229 or bellju@quincy.edu to learn more.