“You can learn more in a week traveling overseas than spending a semester studying a country.”
McTague started working for the University in 1976 and has been a Professor of History for 39 years. Before coming to the University, he studied British History in college and spent three months in London working on his dissertation—a book about the British in Palestine. Later on, he became interested in the Middle East and focused on studying Middle Eastern History. He was an academic advisor before taking his current job. History is his life, and he enjoys sharing it with others.
“From the time I went to grade school, I enjoyed reading about history more than anything else.”
When he was finishing up his PhD, he learned about the University through an ad he saw in a paper. He was interviewed by Dr. James Horgan, who was the Chair of History Department at that time, and was hired for a teaching position. He loves being a teacher and has never had any inclination to change or “move up” in his job.
Although the University has changed a lot throughout his teaching career, doubling in students and buildings present on campus, he considers the place his home. The environment is still as personal as when he started out.
“It [Saint Leo] kind of has a warm, fuzzy feeling about it. You know everybody. You don’t feel like you are just one in a million people here.”
One of the ways McTague has promoted a sense of community is by creating a campus band known as TimeWarp which has been going on for 30 years. He started the band in 1984 and watched many groups of students come and go. There are currently three seniors in the current band.
“I’m the only original members who’s still playing. We played for a lot of student events down over the years.”
Time Warp used to play at the Establishment, which was a student bar that used to be where the Local is today in San Antonio, every Friday night for several years. Then the band played for the Tavern when it used to be a popular student hangout. Currently, the band can be seen during Alumni Weekend and Senior Week.
“A lot of my good memories have to do with the band.”
Aside from music, McTague can also be found riding his bike around the community to keep in shape.