Meet the alumni: UW Distinguished Teaching Honoree Leta Beard, ’78, ’80
For this issue of the HMB E-Newsletter, I was honored to interview former member Leta Beard. Leta left everyone associated with the Husky Band brimming with pride when she was introduced at last fall’s Arizona football game as one of four UW Distinguished Teaching Award recipients.
Leta graduated from the UW with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1978 and an M.B.A. in 1980; she was a proud member of the HMB trombone section from 1972 to 76.
I’m certain you will all enjoy catching up with Leta as much as I did! – Brad McDavid
Q: Leta, how long have you been teaching at the UW? What are your primary responsibilities?
A: I have been teaching for the past twenty years after a career at AT&T. I have taught several different courses including: Marketing Management, International Business, Retailing, Sales Management, Tribal Gaming and Business Communications.
I am the faculty director for two student organizations- American Marketing Association and Undergraduate Women in Business.
I taught at the UW Rome Center and will teach Foster students in Shanghai this summer. I have also led a study abroad program to Ireland for the past 8 years.
I coach teams for international business case competitions and have taken students to Canada, Denmark, Singapore, New Zealand, Portugal, Hong Kong and will take a team next month to Spain.
Q: Is it the type of position you always envisioned yourself being in at this point in your career?
A: I grew up in a family of teachers and teaching was the last thing I wanted to do. Obviously that changed and I am now back in the “family business”.
Q: What was your reaction to receiving a UW Distinguished Teaching Award?
A: It was a dream come true. I am deeply honored to be included in the roll of UW distinguished faculty.
Q: Looking back on your Husky Band experience, was there anything about your years in the band that helped prepare you for a career in higher education?
A: It was a new way to look at 8 to 5!
Q: What are some of your fondest memories of your years in the Husky Band?
A: I met so many nice people while in band. The away games were pretty fun. I remember singing “Bow Down” at restaurants before each meal!
I am also proud of my niece Kristyn (Wilkins) Mitchell who played my trombone in the Husky Band (1995-98).
Q: Are there any games or situations that stick out most in your mind?
A: My director was Bill Bissell and every year he would select a photo from a halftime show for his Christmas card. It was at this particular game when my squad became woefully lost. We happened to be right in the front and I will never forget Mr. B’s face. He looked down at us, frowned and then discreetly pointed over about 5 yards from where we ended up. We couldn’t hide behind anyone so we quickly moved over to where we were supposed to be. If we hadn’t been a squad of trombones I am sure we would have marched as alternates the next week!
Q: What was your favorite halftime show and/or song while in the band?
A: There is nothing like the adrenaline flow as you march out of the tunnel playing “Bow Down” and “Victory.” I can still hear the drum cadence echoing in my head. “Tequila” was also very popular while I was in band.
Q: What was the funniest moment that you recall while in the Husky Band?
A: Having our trombone slides freeze in 6th position at the Apple Cup in Pullman.
Q: If I polled all the alums that you were in the band with, what would they say about Leta Beard?
A: I had lots of fun being one of two female trombone players in the band.