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Dr. Robert Doyle

Professor of History

When Robert Doyle was 20, a ROTC scholarship made it possible for him to study German at Pennsylvania State University. It also set the stage for the rest of his professional life.

Because of that ROTC scholarship, Doyle went on to serve two tours of duty in the Vietnam War, an experience he describes as “earth-shattering.”

Likewise, because of the ROTC scholarship, Doyle returned to school via the GI Bill, first at Penn State and later at Bowling Green University, to earn his MA in Comparative Literature and his PhD in American Culture Studies.

The undergraduate degree in German came in handy in 1993, when Doyle was awarded one of the prestigious Fulbright Awards and spent a year teaching American Studies in Germany at the University of Münster.

The scholarship also laid the ground for Doyle’s wide-reaching body of work on the treatment of enemy combatants. Now considered America’s foremost expert on POWs, past and present, Doyle’s work on the topic includes dozens of articles and essays, as well as three books: Voices From Captivity (1994), A Prisoner’s Duty: Great Escapes in Military History (1999), and The Enemy in Our Hands (2010).

Above all, the ROTC scholarship set Doyle on the path that would lead him to his life’s greatest passion: Teaching.

“To me,” Doyle explains, “teaching is like taking a hot shower on a cold day. I love it, and I love the students. What we’re doing here at Franciscan is helping them build their future. The feeling that comes from being part of that is second to none.”

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