Libby Roerig, Indiana State University
Beloved and long-time economics professor Woody Creason will be honored with the creation of a lecture series, set to kick off next week.
Lynn Duggan, a professor of labor studies at Indiana University, will be the inaugural speaker for the Woodrow Creason Memorial Lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in the events area of the Cunningham Memorial Library. The topic of her lecture is “Production and Reproduction: Top-Down Versus Cooperative Population Planning.”
The event is co-sponsored by the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, Indiana State’s economics department and the university’s library.
“During his 35 years of teaching economics at Indiana State, his reputation was stellar and the legacy he left behind is profound,” said Ross Hemphill, who is a member of the College of Arts and Sciences advisory board and is helping create a scholarship in Creason’s name.
“He had a unique view of economics — one that was liberal — even radical at times. But, he always made you think like an economist,” Hemphill added. “This is because he loved that discipline so much, and he loved teaching it to students willing to learn. He was a very generous man — especially generous of his time to his students, other colleagues in the department and to the community.”
As a student at Indiana State in the 1980s, Richard Setliff was on the receiving end of that generosity. He recalls weekly meetings at Creason’s house.
“We’d talk economics for hours and drink iced tea,” Setliff said. “He was the professor’s professor — very honorable, a good guy.”
If there was a course being taught by Creason — on either an undergraduate or graduate level — Setliff took it. Creason always went the extra mile, including writing a letter of recommendation for Setliff, he recalled.
“I thought, ‘This is what it is to be to be a professor.’ He just had all the qualities,” Setliff said.
Creason made such an impression on the four-time State graduate that Setliff himself is now an educator, having taught classes at Indiana State as a part-time lecturer since 2003.
A native of Sioux County, Neb., Creason earned a bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan University, which is where he met his wife, Maxine. He went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in economics from Indiana University. Creason and his family moved to Terre Haute in 1956, where he taught economics until his retirement in 1991.
Creason was a decorated World War II veteran, having served in the Pacific Theater with a B-29 Group on the islands of Guam and Saipan.
While at Indiana State, Creason was involved in the creation of the ISU Credit Union. He was a charter member of the Eugene V. Debs Foundation and served the foundation for many years. He was also a member of the Terre Haute Economic Development Commission for several years.
“He loved teaching and the university, demonstrated through his service to ISU and the city of Terre Haute. The lecture continues his work by bringing in an outside speaker, someone who has achieved the highest levels of scholarship, for a unique and stimulating exchange of ideas,” said Creason’s son Jared. “The lecture is a public lecture, because my father believed wholeheartedly that the university was an outgrowth of and an asset to the community. This will hopefully become an annual event and contribute broadly to the life of the ISU and Terre Haute.”
Creason died in 2014.