Saint Joseph's Bids Farewell to Four Professors

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The end of another school year inevitably brings with it some goodbyes. For four professors, their goodbyes are more permanent, marking the end of their SJU teaching careers. Francis J. Morris, Ph.D. '58, professor of English, Patrick J. Kirschling, Ph.D. '68, associate professor of food marketing, John Thinnes, director of Training and Organization Development Programs, and William F. Leahy, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing are all retiring from their positions at Saint Joseph's.

Francis J. Morris began teaching full time at Saint Joseph's in 1961 after teaching in the University College in 1959 and 1960. He served as department chair from 1978 through 1990, and has received a number of awards, including the 1987 Bene Merenti Medal. Morris plans to spend time at his home in Maine with his wife and continue to write, in addition to occasionally teaching a course at Saint Joseph's.

"Watching Saint Joseph's change from a small parochial school that could have been mistaken for a minor seminary to a significant university, and having had some part in that, has been a great pleasure," said Morris.  "This institution has been the centerpiece of my intellectual as well as my cultural life, and I'm grateful to it."

"I think that we can safely assume that Dr. Morris has spent over 50 years helping make the University a better place," said Jo Alyson Parker, Ph.D., chair and associate professor of English. "I have depended on his wise counsel, and I will miss him greatly."

Patrick J. Kirschling began his tenure at Saint Joseph's in 1983. He was involved in the original U.S. Department of Agriculture grant which established the Center for Food Marketing and provided the funding for Mandeville Hall.  He was also the lead professor in many programs for the University involving international executives in the food industry, and he led the department's expansion into food service. Kirschling will move to Maryland with his wife Kathleen, and plans on spending ample time with his two daughters and six grandchildren.

"Dr. Kirschling was an active and creative contributor to an era of growth and entrepreneurism in the department of food marketing, and his good humor will be missed," said Nancy Childs, Ph.D., professor and chair of food marketing.

John Thinnes began working at Saint Joseph's in 1987. Working primarily in the graduate program, Thinnes has applied his 25 years of work experience to teaching courses in learning methodologies, leadership and consulting skills, among others. Though he will still teach an occasional class as an adjunct, Thinnes plans to direct his energy primarily to teaching management and organization to professionals.

"Teaching at Saint Joseph's and working with the students and faculty here has been a blast," said Thinnes.

William F. Leahy joined Saint Joseph's faculty in the marketing department as an executive lecturer in 1987. In his 20 years at Saint Joseph's, he spearheaded the Wawa International Marketing Program and was awarded Outstanding Faculty Advisor in 1998. In 1996, Leahy was honored for his services with his induction into the Erivan K. Haub School of Business Hall of Fame. Leahy is only retiring from the classroom, however, as he will continue as a faculty advisor for business students, primarily in the marketing department.

"My association with the people here at Saint Joseph's has been unbelievable — students, faculty, administrators," said Leahy. "With the growth of the University and the acquisition of the Maguire campus, I'm looking forward to seeing Saint Joseph's continue to advance."

--Dan Wisniewski '08

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