Bill McQuain retires after 27 years of teaching
July 1, 2022
It's a dizzying number: 13,874 to be exact.
That's the number of students Department of Computer Science Senior Instructor Bill McQuain has taught over his 27-tenure. Faculty, staff, and friends celebrated McQuain and his tremendous legacy to the department and university at a retirement celebration in May 2022.
To distill that even further, McQuain has taught 194 courses during this time. Dwight Barnette, senior instructor and director of academic operations, has worked closely with McQuain since he joined the department in 1995.
Most recently, McQuain taught CS 2505: Computer Organization I and CS 3114: Data Structures and Algorithms during the spring 2022 semester, accounting for close to 400 students.
"We taught many of the same courses, often in the same term," said Barnette. "We worked together sharing and developing notes, assignments, and tests for the courses."
Barnette said his colleague's legacy on the department is profound. "The underlying mathematical rigor he brought to the courses has held students to a high degree of analytical and logical thinking. The student product produced by the department during Bill's tenure has tremendously raised the reputation of the department."
Barnette shared that the duo often had many discussions on how best to teach course concepts and how to help students master the more difficult material of a course. "In terms of teaching, Bill has always had a passion about helping students who were truly interested in learning."
With retirement, McQuain can continue pursuing his hobbies of studying history, traveling, and woodworking; having built bed chairs, tables, and toys.
Prior to joining the Department of Computer Science, McQuain taught in the Department of Mathematics at Virginia Tech.