Professor Thomas J McCarthy


Chair, Social Studies Department


Tom McCarthy was born in Tarrytown, New York in 1932, he graduated from Tarrytown High School and enlisted in the US Air Force.  During his five year tour of duty in Great Britain he studied and completed correspondence course work from the University of Maryland.  He later attended Iowa State University where he earned BA and MA degrees in history.  Extremely modest and humble, McCarthy was an exceptionally gifted orator. Though he taught history, much of his classes were designed around the elements of argument and debate.  He was able through his gifted style to entice even the most reluctant student to engage in classroom discussion about various topics.

McCarthy despised ignorance, embraced learning and education to such an extent that he abandoned nearly all earthly material pursuits.  He was among the last teachers at Kemper to accept apartment space in lieu of compensation. During summers, Tom McCarthy took public transportation (he never learned to drive) to Iowa City where he continued his education.  He would then return to Kemper and begin another year of teaching.  He was among the very few members of the faculty who were not directly engaged in recruiting or retaining students.

McCarthy’s personal motto:

            “It is the purpose of all teachers, regardless of their specific field, to

            engender in studentsa sincere appreciation for the pursuit of learning.”

Not only did Tom's students benefit from their association with him, so did his fellow colleagues.  He willingly shared his vast political knowledge with them, and delighted in keeping them abreast of the developing current history.  He was also a willing participant in academic endeavors and brought to the table innovative and practical solutions to academic concerns.  His colleagues appreciated his brilliance, his jocular disposition, his willingness to share, and above all else, his devoted friendship. 

During his years at Kemper Military School, Professor McCarthy regularly held a straw election during presidential election years.  His close analysis and study of the demographics which cadets presented were a source of intrigue to him and his elections became the subject of several scholarly works on his part.  Tom McCarthy held himself up to a high standard of conduct and bearing, he carried himself with dignity and poise while being a credit to the faculty of Kemper Military School for nearly forty years.


Deeply missed by the Cadets and fellow faculty of Kemper Military School