Written by Amanda Davis, Editor-in-Chief
Mikle Ledgerwood was six years old when his family took a vacation to French Canada. While he and his brother were playing in a parking lot, two Canadian children came up to join them. Ledgerwood and his brother began to excitedly talk in English, but the Canadian children only spoke French and were scared off. “I said to myself at that point, ‘I’m always going to speak their language,” Ledgerwood said.
Ledgerwood has kept his promise. He is fluent in six languages: English, French, Portuguese, German, Spanish, and Italian. He has been teaching Linguistics at multiple colleges for over 30 years, and taught at Samford University as the Chair of World Languages and Culture and Professor of Romance Languages and Linguistics. Ledgerwood has also taught at Rhodes College and Stony Brook University, as well as LCC International University. Ledgerwood has come out of retirement to teach three Communication classes at Bryan for the Spring semester.
Ledgerwood’s adventures have led him to travel to over fifty countries. He recently circumnavigated the globe and has friends and acquaintances in every place.
Ledgerwood took French all throughout high school. He accepted a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Scholarship to France in 1978-1979. Ledgerwood spent a year teaching French in Nice, France. He became so immersed in French culture that when he returned home, he had trouble speaking in English. “At one point, I was sort of French,” Ledgerwood said.
Ledgerwood believes that linguistics and communication are two very similar fields. Dr. Michael Finch, the Chair of the Department of Communication, asked Ledgerwood to teach several classes while he searches for a new permanent communication faculty member.
Ledgerwood is an official Google Scholar. He has done significant research on linguistics, specializing in semiotics, the study of meaning and symbols. He founded The Language Learning and Resource Center at Rhodes College. Ledgerwood also enjoys history and holds a Master’s in American History.
Ledgerwood said that if he had to pick only one place to live in for the rest of his life, it would be India. “India has everything. It has fabulous geography, it has the Himalayas, it has the ocean, the Indian Ocean, and it has islands, and it has phenomenal food,” Ledgerwood said.
Amanda Davis is a senior communications major and creative writing minor at Bryan College. She is a Kansas City native and loves reading, writing and photography.