Column Two: Numbers 25 to 48

G. FRANCIS O’LEARY, F.S.C.

JAMES A. FLYNN

E. ANSELM MURPHY, F.S.C.

FRANK M. WETZLER

ISABEL S. GRENNOR

JOSEPH C. KIRK

GAVIN PAUL KAMERDZE, F.S.C.

GERALD HENRY LAFFEY, F.S.C.

EDWARD M. BORK, F.S.C.

G. JOSEPH DOWNING, F.S.C.

KENNETH D. LOEFFLER

MICHAEL A. O’MEARA

JOSEPH L. MORAN

DAMIAN J. CONNELLY, F.S.C.

WILLIAM A. HALL

ELIZABETH W. LAVIN

EDWARD M. KLINE

F. ALPHONSUS KUHN, F.S.C.

DANIEL J. RODDEN

DIANE D. BLUMENTHAL

ALMA M. REEVES

DONALD H. MASSER

F. JOSEPH QUINN, F.S.C.

UGO DONINI

 

1. G. Francis O’Leary, F.S.C. (Brother Gobertus Francis) (1913 - 1966)

Noted for his unrelenting devotion to duty, Brother Gobertus Francis taught English to the student Christian Brothers at their House of Studies (Scholasticate) in nearby Elkins Park (1951 or 1952 to 1957). He moved to La Salle College (1957-1966) and continued his English instruction there in a truly collegiate setting. Brother Francis’ accomplishments regarding publications was also significant. In 1948 he produced Ten Decades of Education, a landmark history of the Baltimore Province of the Christian Brothers. He played a major role in producing some of the yearbooks of La Salle College and with the Four Quarters magazine. Brother Francis was considered to be an authority on the works of William Faulkner

2. James Andrew Flynn (Brother Emilian James) (1905 – 1968)

James A. Flynn entered the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1921 as Brother Emilian James. In 1928 he was assigned to La Salle, and he remained associated, with a few variations, to the College until 1945. During the first five years he taught Latin, Greek, and philosophy. He became the Registrar in 1933 and held this post for several years. In the late 1930s he was named Inspector of Schools for the Baltimore Province of the Christian Brothers, using the old 1240 North Broad Street property as his base. He served as La Salle’s President and Director of the Brothers’ Community (1941-1945), which tenure coincided almost perfectly with America’s involvement in World War II. As hundreds of La Salle’s men enlisted or faced the military draft, Brother Emilian pledged to keep the College intact as an academic institution during the war, declining offers to turn over the facilities to units of the Armed Forces. The enrollment plummeted to a low of 97 students, but belt-tightening and expanding the population of La Salle High School saved the College. Brother Emilian was chosen as the Provincial of the Baltimore Province in 1945, and held that important post until 1954. Manhattan College granted him an honorary degree in 1955. He withdrew from the Christian Brothers a year later and subsequently married.

3. Edwin Anselm Murphy, F.S.C. (Brother Edwin Anselm) (1886 – 1968)

Tight-fisted, indefatigable, prayerful. Brother Anselm transcended the sum of his parts. He was named as La Salle’s President and served nine stressful years (1932-1941) after the Great Depression. Brother Anselm, however, managed to save La Salle from potential foreclosure during the bleak 1930s. As President, he presided over La Salle’s Diamond Jubilee (1863-1938) and added McCarthy Stadium, McShain Hall, and ten additional acres to the campus landscape. Later, he served as the Vocation Director of the Baltimore Province of the De La Salle Christian Brothers (1947-1953), and used La Salle College as his residence and base of operations. At the Second Regional Convocation of the Christian Brothers held in California in 1990, Brother Anselm was named one of three specially-chosen Brothers of the Baltimore Province to represent, in an “icon” way, the very best of the Brothers’ rich legacy. In 1999, La Salle University fittingly placed a statue of the Sacred Heart at the entrance to Olney Hall, with a memorial plaque citing Brother Anselm’s financial and spiritual efforts to preserve La Salle during its darkest days.

4. Frank M. Wetzler (19__ - 1969)

Frank Wetzler was so synonymous with track and field that younger Explorers today would not have known that he taught German (1949-1968) during virtually all of his years associated with the school. Beginning in 1948, Mr. Wetzler developed a host of track and field stars at various levels of competition, including Olympians. He gained nationwide respect as one of the finest coaches of track and field in collegiate ranks. Mr. Wetzler died of injuries he sustained in an automobile accident on October 27, 1968. In 1969 he was inducted posthumously to La Salle’s Hall of Athletes, the first to be selected for the Hall’s “Coaches Corner.” The track at McCarthy Stadium was dedicated to his memory ("Coach – Educator – Friend") in October 1989.

5. Isabel S. Grennor (or Isabel Jamison) (unknown dates)

Isabel Grennor administered the old-fashioned telephone switchboard, complete with headphones, a paging device, blinking lights and black-coated metal prongs which were inserted into the elaborate board. She was thus a known—and heard—but relatively “unseen” staff member of La Salle during the 1950s and up to the late 1960s. In those days, the switchboard was located on the main floor of the Brothers’ Residence (at the bottom of the main staircase) during the 1950s. She was known as Isabel Jamison at the time.

6. Joseph C. Kirk (19__ - 1970)

Without a swimming pool to call his “own” (i.e. an on-campus facility), Joe Kirk was a wonder-worker. From the 1941-1942 season until his untimely death, Joe Kirk was synonymous with swimming at La Salle. He turned out competitive—and usually dominating—performers, including numerous All Americans and 1948 Olympic gold medalist Joe Verdeur. He died while the swimming pool at the new Hayman Hall was under construction—a pool which he helped to design. Mr. Kirk was inducted posthumously into the Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame at Pennsylvania State University in 1970 and one year later into La Salle's Hall of Athletes (Coaches Corner). La Salle's pool has borne his name since its opening in 1972.

7. Gavin Paul Kamerdze, F.S.C. (Brother Gavin Paul) (1917 – 1972)

Brother Gavinus Paul (later shortened to Brother Gavin Paul), came to La Salle in 1953 and taught sociology. Balancing classroom duties with a variety of successive administrative titles, he became Dean of Freshmen (1953-1954), Director of Properties (1954-1956), Director of Special Services (1956-1958), Dean of Students (1958-1960; this post was considered at the vice-presidential level during these two years), and Vice-President for Student Affairs (1960-1967).

8. Gervald Henry Laffey, F.S.C. (Brother Gervald Henry) (1916 – 1972)

During a ten-year period (1953-1963), Brother Henry did not teach any official courses at La Salle, nor was he one of its staff members. For this period of time, however, he served as the Vocation Director of the Baltimore Province of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, living on the campus. For at least a portion of these years he was quartered in the residence halls, impacting the lives of many young men who sought his advice. Brother Henry unfailingly added a sparkle when he addressed student retreats, Communion breakfasts, assemblies, or Commencements at La Salle and elsewhere.

9. Edward M. Bork, F.S.C. (Brother Edward of Mary) (1913 – 1973)

With the enrollment boom at La Salle after World War II, Brother Edward of Mary arrived to teach chemistry, which he did with distinction from 1947 until, at least, the mid-1960s.

10. G. Joseph Downing, F.S.C. (Brother Gerardian Joseph) (1894 – 1973)

Brother Joseph began his career teaching college physics in 1928, but an important post was added in 1935. In that year he became Registrar and served as such until 1969, balancing both office and teaching loads for most of that time. Brother Joseph continued to live on the campus until 1973—a total of 45 consecutive years in association with La Salle.

11. Kenneth D. Loeffler (19__ - 1975)

Ken Loeffler came to La Salle to be the head coach of basketball in 1949, and his six years (1949-1955) placed La Salle solidly on the nation’s basketball map. Each year, Loeffler led the Explorers to a post-season tournament, most notably the National Invitational Tournament (Champions in 1952), and the NCAA Finals (Champions in 1954 and Runners-up in 1955). He posted an impressive overall 145-30 record at La Salle. Earlier in his career, Loeffler had played basketball for Penn State and became the head basketball coach of Geneva (PA) College, Yale University, and the University of Denver. These positions were followed by coaching professional teams in St. Louis and in Providence (RI). During several of his La Salle years, he taught business law; sources indicate that he was teaching during at least part of the 1953-54 and 1954-55 academic years, during which time the Explorers made their runs in the NCAA Finals. In 1955 he authored, with assistance from Ralph Bernstein, Ken Loeffler on Basketball (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall). Loeffler went on to coach basketball at Texas A & M and later taught at Monmouth College and at the University of Nevada at Reno. In 1972, La Salle inducted him into the Coaches Corner of its Hall of Athletes.

12. Michael A. O’Meara (1914 – 1976)

Michael O’Meara taught finance at La Salle (1960 or 1961 until 1971).

13. Joseph L. Moran (1927 – 1976)

The Spanish language and culture was Mr. Moran’s area of expertise. He began his teaching career at La Salle College High School (1950-1960), moving onto the Evening Division faculty of La Salle College in 1949 and to the Day Division (1960-1976). Mr. Moran received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1971. Since 1977, a small plaque honors his memory in the small quadrangle located where Leonard Hall once stood.

14. Damian J. Connelly, F.S.C. (Brother Damian Julius) (1918 – 1977)

Brother Damian was dubbed “La Salle’s "`Mr. Mathematics’ ” by the program for his fiftieth jubilee as a Christian Brother. He skillfully imparted his passion for this subject—and, later, computer science—to the collegiate students of La Salle for nearly 30 years (1948-1977). In the small quadrangle where Leonard Hall once stood is a plaque which honors Brother Damian. Warren Smith, M.D. and his wife named one of their sons Damian to honor him.

15. William A. Hall (1915 - 19__ )

Before he came to La Salle, Mr. Hall serviced twenty-seven Linton’s restaurants in the Philadelphia area as food supervisor for six years. Arriving as Director of the Dining Hall at La Salle in 1952, his base of operations was the cafeteria in Leonard Hall which he had helped design and which opened in autumn 1952. Mr. Hall’s title was changed to Director of Food Services around 1960. In 1968 he was one of 5 civilians who embarked on a six-week tour of Navy installations around the world to choose that year’s recipient of the Navy’s Ney Memorial Award, given to the food unit judged best among 12 finalists. He remained at La Salle until approximately 1969.

16. Elizabeth W. Lavin (1903 – 1978)

Elizabeth (“Betty”) Lavin was the secretary in La Salle’s Athletic Department (1961-1977).

17. Edward M. Kline (1915 - 1978)

The first name of Edward is on the Faculty/Staff Memorial, and Edward is in several of the La Salle telephone directories of the mid-1960s, but "Everett" is in the Death Notice, dated Jan. 30, 1978. Mr. Kline worked as part of the staff of the La Salle’s David Leo Lawrence Memorial Library (1963-1978).

18. F. Alphonsus Kuhn, F.S.C. (Brother Florus Alphonsus) (1899 – 1978)

Athleticism was not unknown to Brother Alphonsus, who once rescued a young lady who was floundering in the ocean near the Christian Brothers’ vacation residence in Ocean City (NJ) in 1923. La Salle’s relocation to the new 20th and Olney campus expanded athletic competition, particularly with the start of varsity basketball (1930-1931) and varsity football (1931). Brother Alphonsus greatly assisted by serving as Moderator of Athletics (1934-1939). Several sources described this post as “Prefect,” referring to his facilitating the student-athletes (especially from upstate) who boarded in an unfinished floor of College Hall.

19. Daniel J. Rodden (1920 - 1978)

Dan Rodden graduated from La Salle College in 1941, but in a sense, he never left 20th and Olney. He taught briefly at La Salle High School (located in today’s Wister Hall), until World War II intervened. Afterwards Mr. Rodden returned to La Salle to teach in the English Department of the College (1949-1975), winning the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1966. He directed the Masque at La Salle (1953-1965), and supervised every facet of design and construction of the new theater in the Student Union. In 1962, Mr. Rodden founded the La Salle Summer Music Theater and became its managing director for many memorable performances. He authored the musical comedy “Small Beer in Springtime” and co-authored another comedy, “Lucky For Me.” The Student Union Theater was named for Dan Rodden on July 6, 1982.

20. Diane D. Blumenthal (1938 – 1979)

Diane Dittmar married Bernhardt Blumenthal in July 1965, and two months later she began teaching (part-time) in La Salle’s Evening Division—one of the first women to do so. She made her mark in the history of La Salle, however, in February 1967 when she became the first full-time female faculty member in the Day Division. (The Dean’s letter states, “I welcome you officially as the first contractual female member in the history of La Salle College.”) Her area of expertise was the German language and culture.

21. Alma M. Reeves (19__ - 1980)

Little is known of Alma M. Reeves. She served as the secretary in the office of the Evening Division of La Salle College.

22. Donald H. Masser (19_ - 1980)

For three decades (1949 until approximately 1979) Don Masser was the “point man” regarding La Salle’s physical facilities. His official title was Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, but a Collegian article referred to him as “Plant Engineer.” Before La Salle, Masser had served 13 years with Kellett Aircraft Company, 11 of which he was plant superintendent. A casual listing of the structures which were built during his La Salle years (library, multiple residence halls, student union, science building, Olney Hall, and Hayman Hall) indicates the sheer growth of La Salle and the accompanying increasingly complex skills needed for maintaining such diverse buildings

23. F. Joseph Quinn, F.S.C. (Brother Firminian Joseph) (1908 – 1980)

Brother Joseph was the Dean of Freshmen for one year (1952-1953). He principally taught German and some religion during his active ministry (1952-1956 and 1957-1975) at La Salle. He then lived in retirement at La Salle (1975-1977) until declining health forced him to leave.

24. . Ugo Donini (1901 – 1980)

Born in Italy, Ugo Donini used to say with understandable pride that, as a youngster, he had been confirmed by a priest who would later became a Pope. Like many longtime teachers of history, Mr. Donini lived through so many eras of history which he would later bring to life in the classroom. His 32 years of instruction at La Salle (1936-1942 and 1946-1972) elevated him to iconic status. Many remember his distance running at an age when most men do not run.He won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1967. For years an “Ugo Donini Club” for donations ranging from $250 to$499 was maintained by University Advancement.