Remembering Ralph Nordlund

Dear Porter-Gaud Family,

Long-serving history teacher and department chair, Ralph Nordlund, passed away yesterday (April 3, 2019) after a long illness.

Ralph taught at Porter-Gaud for 38 years, retiring in 1999.  He returned to teach for one more year in 2001.


Ralph was a beloved and iconic teacher, and he inspired me personally as a student.  He was well known for his hundreds of carousels of slides and his huge opaque projector.  He seemed to have collected an image or a map for everything in ancient history, and his teaching drew his students into the subject matter in a profound way.  There were many times he would not accept or even grade work that he deemed below a student’s ability. He once made me come in on a Saturday to complete a rewrite of a paper I had written for him on Galen of Pergamon. He thought it should be submitted for a publication, and I simply wanted to take the A and move on.  He taught me that only my best effort should be worth my time.

I had the honor of working with him for many years after his retirement as he served as the school’s archivist, preserving and cataloging thousands of pictures, gradebooks, and records from the school’s 150-year history.

Beverly Oswald, Sue Chanson, and I were able to visit with him a few weeks ago, and the first thing he asked about was how the school was doing.

Ralph’s memorial service will be at John Wesley United Methodist Church, April 6, 2019 at 4:00 p.m.

May he rest in peace,

DuBose Egleston '93, Head of School


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