Column Five: Numbers 97 to 120

























1. John H. Veen (1927 - 1992)

John Veen’s name was a familiar one to his classmates at La Salle because of his energizing various campus activities and because he initiated the highly successful “A Bell for La Salle” fundraising campaign which resulted in the carillon installed in the tower of College Hall. The carillon was formally dedicated to the memory of Pope Pius XII on February 12, 1959. Veen graduated from La Salle months later at age 32, his education having been delayed by family exigencies. He was immediately hired as the director of the new Student Union building, which opened during the autumn months of 1959. With the forming of committees, hiring staff, and the programming of movies, concerts, lectures, exhibits, and dances, the Union became a second home to John Veen. He was named director of special activities in 1975, handling the trips and tours sponsored by La Salle. When an upgrade of the carillon was needed, Veen launched an alumni-oriented campaign to raise funds in 1981. On December 1, 1982, La Salle’s second carillon was installed. A plaque just outside of the Christian Brothers’ chapel, dated May 19, 1984, attributes this carillon to the alumni and friends who helped with this project. Veen directed the special activities office until his 1986 retirement.

2. Philip A. Dionisio (1936 - 1992)

Philip Dioniso worked in the maintenance department of United Aircraft ( Southampton, PA) for about ten years before his years at La Salle (1972-1992). The major positions he held were supervisor of janitorial services, assistant director of physical facilities, and mechanic.

3. William J. Quinn, F.S.C. (Brother Didymus John) (1917 – 1992)

William J. Quinn entered the Christian Brothers in 1933 and received the religious name of Brother Didymus John. He was assigned to teach at La Salle three different times, teaching physics, mathematics, and religion (1946-1954) and then traveling to Rome for a special year of study. Afterwards Brother John returned to La Salle as the new Dean of the College (1955-1960), but taught mathematics and physics as needed. He played a major role in the planning and design of La Salle’s new Science Center, which was eventually named for Dr. Roland Holroyd. Brother John was chosen as the Provincial of the Baltimore Province of the Christian Brothers (1960-1966), and thus oversaw the apostolate of each Brother in the Baltimore Province and, in a general way, the activities of each teaching establishment which the Brothers conducted, including La Salle. In 1966 the Brothers were allowed to revert to their baptismal names, and Brother John—now Brother William Quinn—came back to La Salle for a second time (1966-1967) to teach physics and religion. Soon thereafter he received permission to become the administrative assistant (1967-1976) to the president of the National Conference of Major Superiors of Men, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Brother William’s final trip to La Salle (1976-1992) saw his return to classroom teaching, mainly mathematics. He was a friend of active leisure. In summer 1979, at the age of sixty-two, he bicycled from Portland (OR) to Ocean City (NJ), a distance of 3,600 miles, with human interest stories featuring him in local newspapers along the way. After retiring in 1988, Brother William tutored students in the computer center on the campus. He took understandable pride in his collection of 28,000 international stamps which all revolved around a single theme—birds of the world.

4. Casimir Ciesla (1919 – 1992)

A native of Poland, Dr. Ciesla taught at La Salle (1950 until approximately 1988) and received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1970.

5. Daniel Bernian Kelly, F.S.C. (Brother Daniel Bernian) (1916 – 1994)

Brother Daniel Bernian began his 37 years of association with La Salle College by teaching French in 1951-1952. After studying in Rome the following year, he returned to take on a gradually-escalating series of positions, starting with Dean of Men (1953-1954), Vice-President for Student Affairs (1954-1958), and President (1958-1969). He also taught French, as needed, during this period of time. Brother Bernian was La Salle’s first modern president, facilitating lay colleagues becoming vice-presidents, introducing coeducation in the Evening Division, and creating La Salle-in-Europe and the Faculty Senate. Construction during his presidency included the student union, a science building, new residence halls, and planning for Olney Hall and Hayman Hall. After the presidency and a year of study in Barcelona (1969-1970), he came back to La Salle’s classrooms (1970-1987), teaching French and, beginning around 1977, teaching both French and Spanish. He received honorary degrees from a several Philadelphia area universities including La Salle. He retired from active ministry in 1987, living at La Salle until he required nursing home care in 1990.

6. John P. Dondero, F.S.C. (Brother Elrick Austin) (1922 – 1994)

A graduate of La Salle, Brother Elrick Austin was a polished professional in the field of psychology. He initially taught it at La Salle for nine years (1959-1968). In 1966 he became known as Brother John Dondero when the Brothers were permitted to revert to their baptismal names. He took a year’s sabbatical in California (1968-1969), and returned to La Salle’s psychology classrooms (1969 until his 1992 retirement). Brother John received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1973 and was chosen as President of the Faculty Senate (1975-1976). He was widely known as an authority on the psychology of people who choose religious vocations. In demand as a facilitator for workshops and seminars in various countries, Brother John authored several books, including The Reconciliation of Religious Life: Opportunity or Fiction and No Borrowed Light: Mental Health for Religious.

7. Joseph Bender, F.S.C. (1927 – 1994)

Brother Joseph served as academic adviser and counselor (1973-1994) in La Salle’s Evening Division, which eventually became the School for Continuing Studies.

8. Francis J. McCormick, F.S.C. (Brother Felix Francis) (1902 – 1994)

Brother Francis McCormick was no stranger to La Salle. One of his first teaching assignments was at the high school level (1925-1928), then located at 1240 North Broad Street. He returned to La Salle (subsequently relocated to 20th and Olney) to serve as principal of the high school (1932-1936). A short time later, Brother Francis was assigned (1939-1941) to La Salle Central High School, at 1240 North Broad, which operated as a branch of La Salle High in order to keep the old property from being unnecessarily taxed. In 1946 he returned again to La Salle to teach for a year in the high school and then to teach economics at the college level. This subject became his specialty until 1954. In that year Brother Francis was chosen as the Director (1954-1960) of the Christian Brothers’ Community at La Salle. (In the years of 1954-1956, he held the additional designation of “Financial Secretary.”) He taught college economics for a year thereafter (1960-1961). Brother Francis came back to La Salle one final time in 1967, teaching for a year or so before becoming, in succession, Director of Financial Aid, Assistant Director of Development, and Consultant for the Annual Fund. Full retirement came around 1982, but Brother Francis lived another another 12 years at La Salle. He passed away at the age of 92, having lived in association with “one La Salle or another” for 51 of those years!

9. James J. Muldoon, F.S.C. (1933 – 1995)

A graduate of La Salle, Brother James evidenced an interest in the health professions early in his career when he became the second Christian Brother in the Baltimore Province to attain the status of Registered Nurse (January 1960). He joined the Biology Department of La Salle in 1969 and taught anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry. He held additional Registered Nurse certification from St. Joseph’s Hospital in Philadelphia, and won the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1974. Brother James was one of the moving forces behind the establishment of the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs at La Salle. He served as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences for seventeen years (1976-1993). In 1980 he was instrumental in starting the Holroyd Lecture and Award ceremony, from which he received posthumous recognition from his many admirers.

10. Robert F. Polek (19__ - 1995)

A graduate of La Salle College, Robert Polek taught chemistry from approximately 1968 to 1995.

11. Eugene Lashchyk (19__ - 1995)

Dr. Lashchyk was a member of the Philosophy Department for three decades, beginning in the mid-1960s.

12. John F. Gibbons (1909 – 1995)

John F. Gibbons taught philosophy at La Salle from 1955 to 1977.

13. Melvin F. Woods (19__ - 1995)

For over four decades, Melvin Woods taught finance at La Salle, from around 1948 until circa 1990.

14. Dennis J. McCarthy (1925 – 1996)

Dennis McCarthy’s studies at La Salle College were interrupted by his service in the Armed Forces during World War II. He returned, graduated from La Salle in 1947, and was a fixture in the History Department of La Salle for over four decades (approximately 1948 until 1991). Mr. McCarthy was also a longtime member of the Evening Division faculty, and co-founded Phi Alpha Theta (the history honor society).

15. Robert J. Courtney (1919 – 1996)

A 1941 graduate of La Salle, Courtney returned to teach political science in 1946 for over four decades, retiring around 1991. He was one of the original faculty members (1946) of the Evening Division (now College of Professional and Continuing Studies). He was active in Sigma Phi Lambda and coached golf at La Salle. Dr. Courtney was chosen as the second president (1969-1972) of La Salle’s Faculty Senate. Recipient of the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1978, he was a longtime chair of the Athletic Committee. La Salle sponsors the annual Courtney Lecture series in his honor. A scholarship was posthumously named in his honor in 2000, and its initial conferral was the same year.

16. P. Sreenivasa Rao (1933 – 1998)

A native of India, Dr. Rao taught English at several Indian universities, at the University of Pennsylvania, and at La Salle (1969-1997, two years beyond his official 1995 retirement from La Salle). He was an accomplished critic regarding the literature of southern India, translated the works of noted Indian writers, and authored poems and short stories of his own.

17. Victor D. Brooks (19__ - 1998)

Before entering academia, Dr. Brooks was a manager of human resources for Atlantic Richfield Company (now ARCO). He came to La Salle in the 1950s and then around 1963, became one of the first full-time teachers in the Evening Division (now the College of Professional and Continuing Studies). Dr. Brooks’ specialization was organizational psychology. An award named for him is given annually to the graduating Continuing Studies student with the highest GPA.

18. Richard C. Leonard (1918 – 1998)

A firm advocate of non-violence, Richard Leonard registered as a conscientious objector during World War II and performed stateside services. After marriage, his family home became a way station for social activists, notably Dorothy Day, the Berrigan brothers, and Gordon Zahn. He taught sociology at Mt. St. Mary’s College (1951-1957) and at La Salle (1957 until the mid-1980s), and maintained an activist presence regarding the major social issues of the times.

19. Francis J. Nathans (19__ - 1998)

Frank Nathans taught at La Salle from approximately 1955 until 1997. His specialization during the first five or so years was economics, but the majority of his time was spent in teaching political science.

20. Joseph Keenan, F.S.C. (1932 – 1999)

Brother Joseph Keenan taught twice at La Salle (1963-1971 and 1974-1999) with a three-year period separation when he studied for a doctoral degree. His field was religion, but Brother Joseph will always be remembered for a related field of interest. In the early 1980s he attended a mini-series of lectures and demonstrations at the Philadelphia Museum of Art regarding the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Later he took up Urasenke tea school classes in New York, and convinced the administration to convert in 1987 a former tenant farmer’s house on the Belfield property to a learning center regarding the Japanese Tea Ceremony. La Salle at the time became one of the first colleges in the East (if not in the United States) to have such an asset. In the early 1990s he spent a sabbatical year in Japan to be trained to conduct the ceremony and to immerse himself in the culture. Brother Joseph’s classes and his writing about this ceremony brought La Salle notice in academia. A tragic hit-and-run accident, however, suddenly took his life—and also La Salle’s future hopes of promoting its Tea Ceremony House—in February 1999.

21. Joseph G. Markmann (19__ - 1999)

Several months after he received a La Salle diploma in 1949, Joseph Markmann returned to 20th and Olney to the other side of the desks. His 40-plus years teaching accounting (1949 until about 1995) was marked by many highlights: appointed La Salle’s first Christian R. Lindback Professor of Business Administration in the early 1980s and initiated the first Cooperative Education program at La Salle in cooperation with the Career Planning and Placement Bureau. In 1992 he became the first La Salle professor to have an endowed chair named after him while he was still alive.

22. Eugene J. Fitzgerald (19__ - 1999)

A 1951 graduate of La Salle, Mr. Fitzgerald was a member of La Salle’s Philosophy Department for over four decades (1952-1993). He received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1968 and authored Radical Love: Discovering Fire (1997).

23. Raymond Pierzchalski (1916 - 2000)

A native of Chicago, Dr. Pierzchalski taught at St. Michael College (VT), St. Francis College (PA), and Villanova before joining La Salle’s Philosophy Department (1961-1983). Although he was consistently known by his full Slavic name (Pierzchalski) at La Salle, he was known by his anglicized name (Pierce) in other circles.

24. Margaret K. Lennon (Margaret (Keily) Lennon) (1912 - 2000)

Margaret M. Keily graduated from Chestnut Hill College and worked with the U. S. Treasury Department and the U. S. War Department for a total of eight years. Assuming her duties as Assistant Registrar—with administrative status—in 1946, she became the first woman to serve on the professional staff of La Salle College. Similarly, she became the first female secretary of the College Council, a post she held for 26 years (1951-1977). She married James Lennon in 1952, and was promoted with the title of Associate Registrar in the mid-1960s. After three decades of dedicated service, Mrs. Lennon retired from La Salle in 1976.