Multi-hyphenate educator celebrates 50 years at Citrus College
Dale Salwak is celebrating a rare professional milestone: the language arts instructor recently reached 50 years of teaching at Citrus College.
A longtime resident of La Verne, Salwak joined Citrus College as a full-time faculty member in 1973. Raised in a family of educators, he’s led classes from Shakespeare, literature of the Bible, and advanced rhetoric to English literature.
He’s also a prolific author, having published 28 books as well as studies of Kingsley Amis, John Braine, Philip Larkin, Barbara Pym and Carl Sandburg, among others. In 2023 he published two books, “The Life of the Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne,” and, “Writers and Their Teachers.”
According to Salwak, one of the benefits of working at Citrus College is that he has never encountered the “publish or perish” pressure that can be common in academia. As a result, he has had the freedom to write about topics that interest him.
“I worked intensively, seven days a week, on both books during the two-year pandemic lockdown,” Salwak said. “As an author, I am insatiably curious with a feel for language and literature that has developed over many, many years. My strength is non-fiction — literary studies, biographies, memoirs, inspirational books, and social and educational commentary.”
Salwak is also an internationally celebrated magician. Since 1972, he has performed in dozens of countries, been featured at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, and has been nominated four times as stage magician of the year.
“All three of my careers — educator, author and magician — are about communicating and performing,” he said. “I welcome the challenge in all three endeavors, and I care for and respect my students, readers and audiences.”
In 2018 he was named a Citrus College Distinguished Faculty Member. He has received the Purdue University Distinguished Alumni Award, and has been a frequent contributor to the London Times’ Higher Education magazine and its educational supplement.
“The level of success Dr. Salwak has achieved in his various professional endeavors is quite impressive, and we are incredibly fortunate he has chosen to share his talents and skills with Citrus College for the past 50 years,” said Greg Schulz, superintendent and president of Citrus College. “Because Dr. Salwak has taught thousands of students, read thousands of essays and presented thousands of lectures, it is difficult to fully grasp the extent of the impact he has had on our community. However, I am certain he has influenced many lives, and that the result of his hard work will reverberate across generations.”