Richard Joseph Schalk, M.S.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Richard Joseph Schalk, M.S.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 24, 2024,

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Richard Joseph Schalk, M.S.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Associate Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Associate Professor Emeritus of Mathematical Sciences Richard ("Dick") J. Schalk (August 22, 1925-) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was raised with four brothers and two sisters. He was called to active duty with the Army Air Corps after graduating from Marquette University High School in 1943. Schalk was commissioned a second lieutenant at age nineteen, when he completed navigation school. His twenty-one years of worldwide military service included a tour in the South Pacific, with stints in Japan and the Philippines. Soon after he returned from the Far East, Schalk left for Germany and a year's duty in the Berlin airlift. Completion of the Air Force instructors' school led to four years of teaching navigation to aviation cadets and to work on the Air Force navigation manual. During this time, Schalk met his wife, Florence, whom he married in the hospital chapel of Fort Lewis, Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Schalk later took their two children on a three-year assignment to Tripoli, Libya, where their third child was born. While in Libya, Schalk navigated aircraft for the United States Embassy on flights throughout the Middle East. While he was still in service, Schalk earned his B.S. degree (1957) in military science at the University of Maryland. He did additional undergraduate work at Cumberland University, the University of Houston, and Arkansas State Teachers' College. After leaving the Air Force in 1963, Schalk earned an M.S. degree in mathematics at the University of Arkansas before joining the faculty of Appalachian State Teachers' College (now Appalachian State University) in 1965. He completed additional graduate work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and at the University of Minnesota. During his tenure in Appalachian State's Department of Mathematical Sciences, Schalk developed and taught the department's first section of business calculus. He also taught many of the department's upper-level statistics courses until a statistician joined the faculty. To provide fresh air and exercise outside the classroom, the Schalk's bought a run-down farm and transformed it into a Christmas tree plantation. Dr. Schalk and his wife still reside in the Boone house in which they raised their five children: Richard, Rita, Ruth, and twins Elaine and Ellen. Four of their children have undergraduate degrees from Appalachian State, with the other degree conferred by North Carolina State. All five children have earned graduate degrees. The Board of Trustees conferred emeritus status on Dr. Schalk on May 20, 1992. Sources: Appalachian State University files. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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