In 2013, emerita trustee Shirley White Pearl released her memoir The Occasional Man:Travel, Life, and an Uncommon Love. The memoir details meeting the love of her life at the age of 46 and their ensuing travels around the world together over many, many years. If you would like to learn more about this memoir or Shirley's coming works, visit Amazon.
Shirley's professional training is in educational psychology. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, she came to St. Paul Public schools and began creating programs for children with behavioral problems. In hopes of not just helping children but training other teachers, she coauthored Managing Disruptive Behavior in the Elementary School with Don Challman. When Shirley began her next career as a writer in her retirement, it was a surprise even to her.
She began the project in earnest after receiving encouragement from Mary Rockcastle, the Director of the Creative Writing Programs at Hamline. Shirley found the process of writing, editing, and self-publishing so rewarding that she became interested in helping other writers. With that in mind, she approached Hamline about creating a scholarship specifically for graduate students enrolled in Hamline's Creative Writing Programs. Hamline was pleased to award the Shirley White Pearl Scholarship in Creative Writing to Nona Kennedy Carlson earlier this year.