Letter: In Memory of Martin Allor
One student writes a testimony for a valued member of Concordia’s Communications faculty
My first class ever at Concordia was in the Communications Department at Loyola. I proudly toted my schedule with me, anxiously hoping to avoid getting lost. My first class read in bold letters “Media Criticism, professor Martin Allor.”
He told us to call him Marty before beginning the class with a comforting smile and a printed shirt, which his students came to know as his regular demeanor. He was old-school in the best of ways—he handed out hard copies instead of electronic ones and playfully signed all his emails “Be good.”
He treated me like I had earned his respect by merely showing up to class, something I felt I had to nervously prove to other professors. I was not a particularly outstanding student, but an average one with a hunger for learning. I didn’t need to get straight A’s for Marty to notice me. I just had to be engaged.
Perhaps that was why I was so fascinated with Marty’s classes—he seemed to know everything, even learning my name despite my shyness. He seemed infinitely knowledgeable, and just as willing to impart his wisdom to anyone who asked.
Marty had this ability to make his students feel at ease in their environment that never wavered. I enrolled in my second year of video production. It was a full year class with Marty. He trusted and believed in my video concepts and production plans (or lack thereof). This permitted me to develop a trust with myself and my own creative decisions. Due to this level of trust, I felt open and at ease enough to question ideas critically and to be unsure in class, and to speak up if I was.
A moment from one of the final classes with him sticks out in my mind: we watched an experimental film, to which most spoke up with a negative reaction. Marty chuckled, and reminded us that he did not pick the film in order for us to like it.
I don’t know if he realized the degree to which his teaching fascinated, inspired and motivated his students, and how we virtually always enjoyed learning from him. Now, knowing that he will not see our class’s final productions leaves us all grieving, the entire class missing piece of their creative process: sharing that progress with our mentor.
I hope we continue to be fascinated, inspired and motivated in memory of Marty.
—Sahara Baldwin, Undergraduate Communications Student
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