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Beloved Professor Sam Laposata Retires

Samuel M. Laposata, one of Muhlenberg’s most beloved professors and former dean of the Wescoe School, announced his retirement at the end of this academic year.  This time is an exciting yet emotional one for Sam, who says that teaching has always been his calling.  In fact, he has been teaching in some capacity since 1964, doing so even during the years he left academia to pursue a job in the corporate world. 

Sam describes his time at Muhlenberg as a blessing, and says he feels fortunate to have been able to work in his dream job.  He loves working with Muhlenberg students because they are a “unique and courteous group of people.”  He appreciates the warm culture here and says, “To teach students who are not only very bright, but also are caring and will hold the doors open for you is an honor.  It has been a real pleasure to be in the classroom at Muhlenberg.” 

Sam’s affinity for his students is certainly reciprocated by them.  An entire wall of his office is filled with photos of his former students, and Sam keeps in touch with many of them.  Sam can easily identify each student pictured, and talk about what they are doing now, both personally and professionally. 

Sam also worked with many adult students during his tenure as dean of the Wescoe School.  In 2005, The Dr. Samuel M. Laposata Wescoe Student Scholarship was established to honor Sam and his desire to help adult students who may have the ability and determination to earn their degree, but not the financial means.  Sam earned his academic degrees as an adult student and later witnessed the struggles of adults working in the corporate world while simultaneously furthering their educations. It is an act of courage to return to school according to Sam. “To a certain extent, you put your ego on the line when you come back to college, especially for those who didn’t make it the first time around,” he says. “But most adult students succeed in ways they didn’t before – even with the additional responsibilities they have.”

Now that retirement is just around the corner, Sam is looking back on his years at Muhlenberg with fondness.  He has no specific plans yet, but he knows that something will call to him, just as teaching did.  When asked to share some parting words of wisdom with current students and alumni, Sam said, “Remember where you came from.  You are unique and you should use that to help you succeed.”

Sam is meeting with alumni on a Farewell Tour.  To see a list of dates and times, click here.  If you would like to honor Sam’s legacy, you can do so by making a gift to The Dr. Samuel M. Laposata Wescoe Student Scholarship.  You can make an online gift at www.muhlenberg.edu/makeagift, or write a check to Muhlenberg College, (please note “In honor of Sam Laposata” in the memo). For more information, please call Deb Kipp, Associate Vice President for Development at 484-664-3223.

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