The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Lend me your ears’

“To be, or not to be” in the school of liberal arts at Texas A&M University? That is the question many students ask when enrolling in an institution known for engineering, veterinarians and scientists.
However, Herman Gollob, a former student and writer, said the University is good for more than teaching, solving, fixing and healing.
Gollob graduated from A&M in 1951 and spends his time studying and writing about William Shakespeare.
“He’s had a highly successful career in publishing, and after he retired, he started to study the works of Shakespeare intensively, which lead him to write his book, ‘Me and Shakespeare: Adventures with the Bard,'” said Sarah Gaskamp, a junior English major.
He wrote the book as a memoir about the effect Shakespeare’s writing had on his life.
“Honestly, it’s almost like an autobiography,” said Joy Mannan, a senior English major. “Mr. Gollob shares happy, sad, funny and awkward moments from all parts of his life- but, with Mr. Gollob crediting Shakespeare and his creations for changing his life, it’s a memoir.”
Gollob has more than 35 years of experience in the publishing industry, which he also included in his book.
Gollob’s experience includes being editor-in-chief at New York’s “Athenuem,” vice president and editorial director of the Literary Guild, vice president of the Editorial Board at Simon & Schuster and senior vice president and later editor-at-large at Doubleday.
Before entering the publishing industry, Gollob worked as a literary agent with MCA in Beverly Hills and with William Morris in New York City.
His diverse professional experience helped captivate readers studying English at A&M, Mannan said.
“Biographies or memoirs aren’t among my favorite books to read, but Mr. Gollob’s memoir managed to pull me in,” she said. “He writes about his experiences in an honest way that is easy to relate to. Once you get into it, his story really grabs you.”
However, Gollob did not spend all of his time at A&M studying English literature. He had a list of various activities he said made him into the man he is.
“While at A&M, I was amusements editor of The Battalion, writing movie and book reviews and a general interest column. I was also co-editor of The Commentator, the student humor [and] lit magazine,” he said.
Additionally, Gollob was a distinguished military graduate and member of the national honor society Phi Kappa Phi.
After graduation Gollob was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Air Force and served for two years.
Jim Harner, an English professor, asked Gollob to come to A&M to speak to classes about how he came to study Shakespeare.
“I discovered him in the course of my role as editor of the World Shakespeare Bibliography Online. I was skimming his book, ‘Me and Shakespeare’ and I came to the bio at the end of the book. I read that he was a graduate of A&M, and an English major, so I contacted him to ask if he would be interested in coming back to A&M to visit some classes and to give a lecture.
Gollob spoke to two of Harner’s classes.
“He wowed my students and about 100 people attended his lecture,” Harner said.
Some students also had the chance to meet with him personally to ask questions and get to know the former student.
“Mr. Gollob is such a charming man,” Mannan said. “He is intelligent, down-to-earth and great company. Additionally, I told him I was an aspiring novelist and interested in a career in the publishing industry. Immediately, he told me I could call on him if I ever needed any help with anything.
Meeting with Mr. Gollob is definitely among my top 10 favorite experiences as a student here.”
Harner said he also admires Gollob’s sharp mind and wit.
“I knew from having him in classes in 2003 that he would engage and excite students because he is a wonderful raconteur,” Harner said.
Gollob said he was glad to return to campus and it reminded him of what he admired about the University.
“What I love about Aggieland is that it’s been able to preserve the Spirit of the Cadet Corps even though the Corps is now only a small part of the enrollment” he said.
Six years ago, Gollob visited A&M and said he was moved when he saw the Corps.
“I attended the Retreat Ceremony before the Corps marched into Mess, and it brought tears to my eyes.”
After reading about him, Gaskamp said she was happy to have had the chance to meet Gollob and experience his personality firsthand.
“He’s a lovely gentleman with a hilarious sense of humor,” she said. “He makes retirement look like a blast- I can only hope that when I retire, I still feel the need and desire to learn like Mr. Gollob.”

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