life filled with love of politics, teaching
the years, Michael Mezey has learned to sit back and
One of the most important principles in Michael Mezeys
life is to not take it too seriously.
I try to take life one day at a time, said
Mezey, one of three provost candidates. I try
not to take myself too seriously and I try to find humor
in a lot of situations. Otherwise life would be pretty
Born in 1943, Mezey grew up with one younger sister
in Brooklyn, N.Y. His father worked in a clothing factory
and his mother was a secretary for the New York Police
Department. As a child, he played softball and touch
football on the streets.
I played a little bit, I wasnt very good,
Mezey said. I never was on a team, it was mostly
His first job was at Western Union delivering telegrams
in Manhattan, N.Y.
It was just a weekend job, he said. In
those days telegrams were delivered in envelopes by
Western Union boys. I was one of those boys.
Political science became his main interest when he was
a child and read about politics of the day.
It wasnt until college that I figured out
you could take courses just on political science,
Mezey said. I started out as a physics major but
that only lasted about a year. My parents worried I
wouldnt be able to find a job with a political
lived in Brooklyn, until he graduated from the City
College of New York in 1963 with a degree in political
science. He then attended Syracuse University for his
masters and doctorate degrees, which is where
he met his wife Susan.
Susan Mezey said she was a friend of Mezeys sister
in college and met him in August 1965 at a mutual friends
Within a few months they were engaged and married in
We had a lot of things in common, said Susan
Mezey, professor of political science at Loyola University
and assistant vice president of research. We were
both in love with politics, we both grew up and went
to college in New York, that sort of thing.
They have two children, Jennifer and Jason. Jennifer
Mezey is an attorney in Washington, D.C., at the Center
for Law and Social Policy. Jason Mezey is an assistant
professor of English at St. Josephs University
Mezey discovered his passion for teaching when he was
a teachers assistant in graduate school. Upon
graduation, he taught at the University of Virginia
for a year and a half before moving to Bangkok, Thailand,
to teach at Thammasat University in an exchange program.
It was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the students
very much and it was wonderful traveling the country,
Mezey said. It was an exciting time to be there
with the war in Vietnam very close by. The least enjoyable
part was seeing the American soldiers who were very
young coming into Bangkok to fight.
He returned to the United States and briefly taught
at Wesleyan University and the University of Hawaii
before arriving at DePaul University in Chicago.
Patrick Callahan, department chair of the political
science department at DePaul, was on the committee who
hired Mezey in 1977.
He is a superb administrator and is clear about
what he wants from people, Callahan said. Hes
a very popular professor and a friendly fellow with
a good sense of humor. He also is a very hard worker
and an excellent communicator.
Although he has been dean of the College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences at DePaul since 1995, Mezey considers
himself more of an educator than an administrator.
I have the best job in the world, Mezey
said. I work with young people every day. I seem
them come in as children at 17 or 18, and four years
later I get to see them graduate and go out into the
world as adults. Its very humbling.
Mezey has written numerous articles, books and papers.
He has the amazing ability to keep large numbers
of facts in his head simultaneously, Callahan
said. He knows the material backwards and forwards.
In his spare time, Mezey enjoys playing card games,
like bridge and poker, and is an avid reader. He enjoys
cooking and he and his wife frequently go to the theater.
He also loves watching sports on television.
I like a quiet evening at home watching sports,
Mezey said. I watch a lot of sports. My wife might
say I watch too much sports!
also an amateur photographer and focuses on street scenes
and locations. He also documents the vacations that
he and his wife take.
Most recently, in December, we went to Havana
for a week, he said. It was interesting
finding out that it is neither the heaven that some
people paint it to be, but not the hell that others
Mezey is no stranger to Fort Worth. His brother-in-law
has been a physician here for the past 25 years.
I come quite frequently to Fort Worth, Mezey
said. I certainly like the sort of Western lifestyle.
The people are unbelievably friendly and TCU is a very
Things seem to slow down in Fort Worth and I like
that. It certainly is warmer there too.