“Dear fellow students and alumni. There will be a memorial for Andrew Messchaert in the Porterville College Gym, Saturday June 20, at 2:30p.m. along with a life celebration in Visalia at 1701 W Meadow Ave. All are invited to come pay your respect. Thank you.”
The Porterville College community is mourning the loss of Andrew Messchaert, our professor of philosophy. Professor Messchaert died on May 25th in Bakersfield of complications from an injury he suffered in a bicycling accident in February. He was 45 years old and leaves a loving wife and two young sons.
Professor Messchaert began his successful career teaching at Porterville College in 1998 after earning a Master’s Degree in philosophy at San Jose State University. For 17 years he has been a key player on the PC campus. His use of humor was famous both in his classroom and in livening up campus meetings. Colleagues greatly appreciated his analytical approach to problem solving.
Professor Messchaert was a Philosopher as well a philosophy professor; he loved philosophy and applied its mental rigor and discipline to everything. He was constantly striving to find a better way to engage students more completely. His students regularly talked about how engaging his classes were and how Mr. Messchaert really “makes us think.” His classes were active, interactive, and always entertaining. While teaching at Porterville College he continued his own formal education by earning a second Master’s Degree in Humanities from CSU Dominguez Hills.
In campus meetings Professor Messchaert’s questions were always insightful – except when he was trying to lighten the mood with his famous wit. His participation on a project always guaranteed that the project would be well thought out and that planning sessions would be entertaining. Colleagues will miss his thoughtful, analytical approach to problems along with his humor and friendly manner.
Mr. Messchaert was among the first to design and propose an Associate for Transfer degree at Porterville College when state law changed to allow that new type of degree. Because of his efforts PC was among the first colleges in California to offer an Associate in Arts in Philosophy for Transfer.
Professor Messchaert served twice as chair of the Social Science Division and contributed on numerous committees, most recently on the campus budget committee. His wit, his insights, his attention to detail, and his great teaching will all be deeply missed at Porterville College.
Andy Messchaert had a full and fulfilling life beyond the campus. He enjoyed family time with his wife and two young sons. He was an avid cyclist and he loved playing chess. Andy also appreciated quality food, becoming an impressively creative cook at home. He also enjoyed good coffee and quality beer. He lived in a way that maintained a healthy balance of professional and personal joys. Both his service and his presence will be deeply missed at Porterville College.
An Andy Messchaert Memorial Scholarship fund has been established with the Porterville College Foundation. Memorial donations can be made by contacting Carol Bodine in the PC Business office (791-2319). Plans are in motion for a future fundraising event to help endow the scholarship.