Carnegie Mellon University

Edd Hale and the US Brig Niagara

February 09, 2018

Volunteer of the Week Edd Hale

Edd Hale

By Jay Farrell

If you were wondering why Osher history teacher Edd Hale spells “Edd” with two Ds, well, “There’s the real story: I was a big fan of Edd “Kookie” Byrnes on 77 Sunset Strip; and there’s the fancy, made-up-for-college version: during the Vietnam War, I didn’t want to write the word “war” every time I wrote my name, so I took it out, and what was left was “Edd.”

Since 2012, Edd has taught Osher at CMU classes on the War of 1812, the Castle Shannon Bank Robbery of 1917, and the US Brig Niagara. “I’m a retired history teacher, and I find storytelling my most successful teaching technique. I love teaching Osher classes because I enjoy facilitating sharing the collective experience of people our age. It is the opportunity Osher affords us to do this that is Osher’s great success, if you ask me.”

His favorite class as a student was Ron Freeman’s True Crime series, which he took three times. “The man was a phenomenal storyteller and his dark sense of humor never left him.” RIP, Ron.

Edd and his wife Nancy, another Osher member, also volunteer as crew members on the US Brig Niagara, the official Tall Ship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Edd is also active with his church, the First Presbyterian Church of Castle Shannon.