Beckett, Alvin C. (1916-2017)

Beckett, Alvin C. (1916-2017)

Date Updated



Accounting/Finance, School of Business

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

University of Santa Clara Post Doc

New York University (time out for WWII service), 1955 Ed.D.

Columbia University, 1940 MA

Trenton STC (NJ), 1937 BS

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1955-1982

Monmouth Junior College (NJ), 1947-1955

Monterey Union Adult School (CA), 1945-1946

North Arlington HS (NJ), 1937-1947

San Francisco State (summer); Univ. of Conn., Storrs (summer); Univ. of Calif.,

Berkeley (1962‑63); San Jose City College; Am. Bankers Assoc.; Fairleigh Dickinson

(NJ); and more.

Administrative and Professional Experience

E. I. DuPont de Nemours;

Standard Oil of NJ;

Clear Copy Carbon Co.;

YMCA (bus. mgr. camp 7 summers);

Monmouth Park Jockey Club (9 yrs. asst. comptroller‑­moonlight); private accounting; more.

U.S. Army WWII‑‑Field Artillery and Chief Clerk of Enlisted Pay‑‑M/Sgt.

Selected Publications

Details somewhere among "Outstanding Professor's Award" files (one year SJSU; three years in School of Business).

Personal Commentary

"What was your first year of teaching like?" Maybe being awakened at 2:00 a.m. to go with the local police to take a confession proved there were shorthand skills. The 17‑year‑old killer had stuffed the bodies of his doctor, along with that person’s wife, into the trunk of a new Buick in Maine and headed south ... it's along tale. That was the beginning of a life that never got boring for me. Just at the end of the third year, as the student body was being escorted to NYC to attend the World's Fair, continued whispers eventually revealed the fact that another teacher and I were disapproved for tenure the night before by the Board of Education. The real story followed when the entire school staged the first strike by a high school in the USA the following Monday. George had been awarded his MA at Montclair State and mine had been granted by Columbia University while the Board was voting us out. Our contributions as teachers and outside the classroom too caused the turnaround. My success as a writer and director of 7 highly successful Minstrel Shows prior to going into service was shelved for the threat of being labeled "racist" was too great.

Service in the U.S. Army during WWII provided new avenues to explore. As Chief Clerk of Enlisted Pay at Ft. Ord in 1945, there was enough off duty time to enable me to teach 5 nights a week at Monterey Union Adult School. Why mention this? Well, as many of you know, that's how I met my wife ... a student in the advanced shorthand class taught by me. Employed by the State Department of Employment, she later returned to New Jersey with me upon discharge. The switch from high school teaching to junior college took place in mid‑year‑‑another chapter in itself.

The dual life as a Department Head and instructor at Monmouth Junior College, along with "moonlight" and summer employment at Monmouth Park Jockey Club, provided the best of two worlds. Busy? Add to that, pursuit of the remainder of the work on the doctorate, the addition of two daughters, owning your own home for the first time, and much more to complete the picture. The racetrack did make it possible to prove to SJS students that "you can't possibly win for these mathematical reasons."

Actually, the interview by President John Wahlquist in New York City caused me to return home and report that there would be no job there for me ... another tale. However, the very next morning, Dean Earl W. Atkinson called to offer a job immediately and it was accepted. Ask me why some day!

Date Completed: 9/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Beckett, Alvin C. (1916-2017)