Column Seven: Numbers 145 to 168
1. Catherine Higgins (1921 – 2005)
Catherine began working with La Salle’s Food Services in 1969, and moved into full-time status in 1981. She retired in 1997.
2. Max Barth (1919 – 2006)
Dr. Max Barth came to La Salle’s Chemistry Department in 1955 and specialized in Physical Chemistry. Students frequently encountered a gruff exterior and classroom expectations (“Max the Axe”), but this masqued a genuine concern for their academic progress and welfare. He was demanding, but fair. Dr. Barth would sit and talk to his charges for lengthy periods of time, and amazed his classes by both erasing the blackboard and writing on it virtually simultaneously. Many of his former students found employment in chemical companies in Philadelphia, including Allied and Rohm & Haas. Although he once worked in an asbestos factory as a young man and his lungs were tested periodically, no evidence of serious harm was found; in fact, students and colleagues remember his avid cigar smoking. Dr. Barth loved reading and was often seen walking the corridors or nearby sidewalks engrossed in a magazine but knowing exactly where he was headed. On several occasions he would grill hamburgers for Chemistry Department parties in the fume hood of the General Chemistry laboratory (Room 311-312 of Holroyd Science Building). Dr. Barth completed his three decade tour of La Salle with retirement in 1985.
3. John Keenan (1931 – 2006)
John Keenan exerted an active presence in every phase of his life,
including his student days at La Salle (Class of 1952). After serving
as one of the first lay teachers in the long history of West
Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys, Keenan returned to La Salle
and was a major figure in its English Department for the next
36 years (1959-1995). American Literature was his specialty,
and his engaging instructional style merited the Lindback Award for
Distinguished Teaching in 1968. Keenan was also a gifted writer,
contributing poems, short stories, non-fictional prose, and reviews to
numerous publications. Faithful readers of La Salle magazine
remember his articles ranging from on-target descriptions of societal
trends—of which he witnessed many—to his descriptive biographical
sketches of La Salle’s most visible personalities. Keenan was editor twice (1970-1978 and 1987-1995) of La Salle’s acclaimed literary
journal Four Quarters. He authored two books on writing, Feel Free To Write and (with faculty colleague Kevin J. Harty, Ph.D.) Writing for Business and Industry.
4. William Binkowski (1917 – 2007)
serving in World War II, Binkowski graduated from La Salle in 1948 and
started his career at 20th and Olney that lasted for 35 years (1949-1984). He
taught history throughout all this time except for four years (1954-1958) when he took on the
additional position of Assistant to the Dean of the College. The major
responsibility of the latter title was handling the faculty and student
rosters of a rapidly growing institution. Binkowski made sure each of
the 1,500 class meetings (per week) had sufficient classroom space,
with no conflicts. These were pre-computer days, and the limited campus
facilities were pressed to their fullest. He utilized a wall-length
board showing, on a five-day weekly basis, the exact location of every
class at every period of each school day. Beginning in the late 1950s
or early 1960s, Binkowski taught education courses in addition to history; and beginning in 1966 until his retirement, he taught in the Education Department. He and his
wife Rose had no children, but they established a scholarship fund to
assist La Salle students.
5. John Stefanowski (1955 – 2006)
John Stefanowski had two stints (1975-1983 and 1990-2006) in Physical Facilities and worked mainly as a custodian. Although he was a bit of a character and openly spoke his mind, John was approachable and likeable. He was very proud of his association with La Salle. John was a member of a specific maintenance crew which was given special recognition by the Collegian of September 29, 2004. The “Faces of La Salle” column, which typically spotlights individual faculty members or “mainstream” staffers, thoughtfully saluted John and the three other members of the night custodial staff (“the cream of the crop”) of the La Salle Union building for their unreserved dedication to duty.
6. Dolores M. Prease (1930 – 2007)
Affectionately nicknamed “Mom” by her Food Service colleagues, Dolores dispensed solid advice in addition to her culinary items to anyone who would listen. She started her La Salle employment in the 1987-1988 academic year and worked in fulltime and part-time capacities in Food Services until her retirement in early 2003. Somewhat feisty but well-received, Dolores was always pleasant and service-oriented, calling many students, especially in Blue and Gold Commons, by their first name. Because she lived near La Salle’s campus, the resident students inconvenienced by major snowstorms during winter especially benefited from her attention to their needs.
7. Martin D. Reardon (1943 – 2007)
A veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department and the U.S. Army Reserve, Martin (“Mickey”) Reardon came to La Salle’s Security Department in 1997. He was in the first detachment of La Salle Security officers who were assigned to the Bucks County Campus several years after its 1997 opening. Mickey remained at this post for most of his ten years at La Salle. He was once selected as “Officer of the Quarter” by his campus supervisors, and was a proud member of the Emerald Society, a fraternal organization composed of Irish Catholic Philadelphia police personnel.
8. Rose Lucas (1946 – 2007)
Rose Lucas had been a longtime custodial worker at the former Sears campus on Roosevelt Boulevard before La Salle hired her in 1991. A churchgoing lady who was always concerned about the welfare of others, she faithfully carried out her custodial duties in Wister Hall and the Administration Building until her death. She is best remembered for her ever-cheerful personality and dedication.
9. George B. Swoyer (1922 – 2007)
George Swoyer was a man of action. During World War II, he left his courses at La Salle College and joined the Marines. Completing his collegiate requirements at Franklin and Marshall College, he received his La Salle diploma at the Lancaster school at their 1944 commencement. Totally familiar with the 20th and Olney landscape as a former student of Benilde Academy (upper elementary grades) and of La Salle High School (both in the same building), Swoyer joined the Economics Department of La Salle College in 1947. A year later, however, he became the first teacher of Marketing at La Salle. A vibrant part of the fiber of the La Salle campus and active in Sigma Phi Lambda, he occasionally lead the entire student body during basketball pep rallies. Swoyer served as a consultant for KYW-AM, Ford Motor Company, and many other businesses, and co-authored Principles of Retailing, a text for college courses. He received an Honorary Degree from the Combs College of Music in 1970. Swoyer estimated that during his forty-four years he taught 17,000 students; one reason for this high number was his encouragement to college administrators to give him classes with forty or more students each. One month before his official retirement in late 2000, the School of Business Adminstration renamed the refurbished Room 303 in College Hall as the George R. Swoyer Learning Center.
10. Rev. John Guischard (1916 – 2007)
From the outset, John Guischard '38 displayed leadership qualities. As an undergraduate, his interest in virtually every social event at La Salle during his four years was in evidence. He and four fellow students organized Sigma Phi Lambda (La Salle's first fraternity) in 1935, which was synonymous with school spirit until it was forced to dissolve because of La Salle’s plummeting wartime enrollment. Guischard taught French at La Salle in summer 1942 and for several summers thereafter, and was promoted to fulltime teaching at La Salle beginning in 1945. Shortly thereafter he became chair of the Modern Language Department. Guischard was desirous of promoting French culture on the campus and established Le Cercle Claudel (day) and Les Chevaliers de La Salle (evening). An outstanding teacher of French language and culture and bearing a doctorate from Laval University, he wrote (circa 1950) Le Conte Fantastique au XIXe Siecle about nineteenth century French short stories. Inspired by a similar program at Middlebury College (VT), he organized La Salle’s phonetic and sound recording studio in 1946, which the Alumni News (May 1947) claimed was the first of its kind in the Philadelphia. In 1951 Guischard established Alpha Psi, giving La Salle the distinction of being—at the time—the only Catholic college in the Philadelphia area having a chapter of Pi Delta Phi, the National French Honor Society. He served as the circulation manager of Four Quarters magazine in its early days. In 1960 he helped initiate the La Salle-in-Europe program, headquartered in Fribourg, Switzerland. Guischard served two terms (1958-1960) as president of the La Salle Alumni Association; both he and his father Vernon were benefactors to the college. He was very instrumental in reviving Sigma Phi Lambda in the early 1960s. At the Commencement of 1963—La Salle’s centennial year—Guischard was one of the twelve alumni recipients of the Centennial Medal; the field of interest which he represented was the study of Modern Languages.
A major shift in direction came in 1965 when Guischard answered a latent call to the Roman Catholic priesthood. He donated his rowhome at 5615 North 20th Street to La Salle and entered the seminary. Guischard was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Burlington (VT) in 1968, and several months later came to La Salle to celebrate a special Mass at the De La Salle Chapel. During his priestly ministry he held several pastorates and was a campus minister at a handful of colleges, all in Vermont. He retired from active ministry in 1991. The name of John A. Guischard is venerated by the members of Sigma Phi Lambda, and a special memorial Mass, five months after his passing, honored his memory on the campus as part of the Homecoming festivities of October 2007.
11. Michael J. Kerlin (Bro. E. Joseph, F.S.C.) (1936 - 2007)
Following the completion of a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Gregorian University in Rome, Dr. Kerlin '58 joined the La Salle faculty as a Philosophy professor in 1966. He would remain a member of the Philosophy Department faculty for over 40 years, 28 of them as Chair. To bolster his already-broad expanse of knowledge he earned a second doctorate, in Religion, from Temple University in 1974. Asked to teach an ethics class in the University's M.B.A. Program, he first earned the degree himself, graduating in 1988.
He was a dedicated teacher, not only in the Philosophy Department, but also in the Honors Program, having begun there in 1972. This dedication to excellence in teaching was recognized in 1986, when he received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. A further distinction was bestowed on Dr. Kerlin in 2006, when was honored by the University as its Distinguished Lasallian Educator.
12. Christian J. Sorensen (1928 – 1995)
After arriving at La Salle in 1971, Sorensen was a significant part of the Physical Facilities staff for twenty-two years. He was the "lead (main) painter" for the campus during that time. Of note were the many large outdoor and indoor signs which he painted for La Salle's Summer Music Theater and for “The Masque.” His wife Joan served on La Salle's library staff for a decade and his son Chris has continued his father's dedication to La Salle (also in Physical Facilities) since 1978.
13. Doris Tugwell (1924 – 2007)
Tugwell worked for many years as a custodian in Olney Hall before retiring in 1994. Three daughters (Eneida Innis, Sonya Innis, and Sandra Tugwell) have followed in their mother’s footsteps as members of the University’s Physical Facilities staff.
14. Doris Beltramo (1923 –2008)
Doris worked in the Lawrence and Connelly libraries and was instrumental in the conversion of the traditional card catalogue to a digital online format at the time of the library’s movement from what is now the Administration Building to the Connelly Library in the late 1980s.
15. Arthur Hennessy (1925 – 2008)
A member of the History Department for thirty-five years, Arthur had numerous interests outside the University, particularly activities with the Democratic Party in Bucks County and the pro-life movement. He also wrote and lectured extensively on President John F. Kennedy.
16. Joseph P. Mooney (1926 – 2008)
A member of the La Salle College class of 1949, Mooney returned to his alma mater in 1954, where he would remain for the next forty years. Mooney’s area of expertise was Latin American economics, and he served as a consultant on El Salvador for the U.S. Department of State. His long-time colleague, the late Jack Grady, described Mooney as having “hit the triple crown:” Lindback Distinguished Teacher, Faculty Senate President, and Professor Emeritus.
17. Arkady Zebekow (1935 – 2008)
Arkady “Zeb” Zebekow started with the Security & Safety Department in 1982 and worked in various capacities until his retirement in 2007. “Zeb” is probably best known as the gregarious Community Patrol Officer at 20th & Olney, interacting with University Community members and greeting visitors to campus.
18. John S. Grady (1937 – 2008)
Except for his student days at Notre Dame, Jack Grady lived his entire life not far from his beloved La Salle. Arriving here in 1960, Jack began his nearly-fifty-year career as a member of the University’s Economics Department. Like his colleague Joe Mooney, Grady won the Lindback Distinguished Teahcing Award in 1972. In 1969 he was appointed Director of the University’s Honors Program, where he became “the heart and soul of the program … [the] mentor, adviser, and friend to many of [the University’s] brightest students.”
19. Minna Weinstein (1933 – 2008)
A quick wit and an engaging personality characterized Minna Weinstein. In 1967 she became one of the first two fulltime female faculty members at La Salle. Just two years later she merited the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. Weinstein taught History--particularly European--with a passionate style and was an advocate for and exemplar to other female faculty. She was also one of the architects of what would become the Faculty Development Committee. She remained at La Salle until 1981 when she transtioned to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Even then she did not forget La Salle, as she encouraged the College’s leadership to become involved in the professional activities of Middle States. "What's a Nice Jewish Girl Like Me Doing in a Place Like This?" was the pleasant article Weinstein penned in 1971 for La Salle Magazine to illustrate her blazing of trails at an institution which she loved.
20. Peter Paranzino (1913 - 2008)
Although never an employee of La Salle, "Pete the Barber" was an icon. From his youth he served the students and Brothers, beginning at the "old" La Salle at 1240 North Broad Street. Even with the move to 20th and Olney, Pete would hop the subway to make hair-cutting house calls at the Brothers' residence there. In 1939 Brother Anselm asked Pete to permanently relocate his craft to 20th and Olney; Pete cut hair, in a number of campus locations, the final site being a small shop on the ground floor of the Student Union. At this location he provided service to legions of La Salle students, faculty, and staff. He finally retired in Spring 2007—after 83 years of association with the Christian Brothers and after 68 years of cutting hair based at 20th and Olney. Pete died on March 7, 2008.
21. Mary Frances Maginn (1947 - 2008)
Ms. Maginn was hired on July 31, 1978 and served as Executive Secretary of the Director of Athletics until her retirement on December 15, 2006, having worked for three longtime Directors of Athletics! In February 2008 she was given the Mary O'Connor Award from the Athletic Department; this was not an annual award, but has been given periodically to persons who exemplify the loyalty and service to women's intercollegiate athletic programs as personified by Mary S. O'Connor (Coordinator of Women's Athletics, 1972-1977); the presentation was made at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day luncheon at La Salle in February 2008. Mary Frances died on September 23, 2008.
22. Elvira Beltramo (1911 - 2008)
Beginning work in the Library in the Fall of 1954 Ms. Beltramo was known for her tireless work, having been described by current Library Director John Baky as "a dutiful worker and was devoted to La Salle," a view supported by former Provost, Bro. Emery Mollenhauer, who described her as "extremely conscientious and … in totally good standing at La Salle." She eventually became Head Cataloguer and held this position until her partial retirement in 1980. Elvira died on September 28, 2008.
23. Dorothy Giblin (1925 - 2009)
Known as "Dottie," Ms. Giblin was hired by La Salle in September 1970 and was as a Food Service Worker for the entirety of her employment at La Salle. Dottie was the focus of some controversy at one point during her career. A 1987 Collegian article ("Students and Faculty Protest Treatment of Dottie") described a petition signed by 250 students to protest her treatment by Food Service supervisors in the "commuter cafeteria" and requested her being allowed to place her own decorations around the cafeteria for holidays during the school year. In this article one Food Services administrator indicated that "Dottie is the anchor of the cafeteria …. She is loved by the students and employees. She is everybody's grandmother." She retired on January 1, 2006 and died on January 10, 2009.
24. John T. Mooney (1930 - 2009)
Professor Mooney was hired to teach Mathematics at La Salle in September 1961 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in July 1964. Noted for his casual attire (khaki slacks and a blue shirt without a tie)—before this style of men's clothing became more common, he served La Salle for over three decades. Having retired on June 1, 1994 he died May 12, 2009.