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Inaugural Honorees Inducted Into Faculty Hall of Fame


May 27, 2015

Drexel LeBow has welcomed the first four honorees to be inducted into our new Faculty Hall of Fame: Helen Bertas, JD, Esq. ’42; Andy Verzilli, PhD; John Clark, PhD; and Paul Dascher, PhD. A committee of senior faculty members comprised of Dr. Rolph Anderson, Dr. Anthony Curatola, Professor Richard Freedman and Dr. Mike Gombola choose these honorees and presented the awards at a recent ceremony.

Freedman, a Drexel alum, actually took a class with Helen Bertas, who made such an impression upon him that he decide to follow a similar career path. He says that, as a teacher, she “was tough, but in a good way. We learned so much.”

Bertas began her career working as a law clerk in the 1960s, and then decided to attend law school. In addition to teaching in Drexel’s Business Law Department (now called legal studies), she was an early female admit to the Philadelphia Bar Association and a respected immigration lawyer for more than 30 years, Freedman says. She retired in the early 1990s.

“She was my mentor when I first started teaching at Drexel in 1975; I followed her lead. She taught me how to teach. She was an excellent professor, and there’s no one more deserving of LeBow’s Faculty Hall of Fame award,” Freedman says.

Anderson presented the award to Andrew Verzilli, who taught in the Economics Department at Drexel from 1966 to 1993.

“Andy was a dedicated, multi-talented, highly creative teacher/scholar who truly loved teaching and was continually seeking ways to improve teaching and learning at all levels, from elementary school to graduate school,” Anderson says.

“I remember how he regularly purchased huge gourmet cookies and put them out in white bags on the mailbox counters of the first and fifth floors of Matheson Hall for everyone to enjoy. On cold winter nights, he would distribute food and blankets to homeless people. His concern and caring for the less fortunate made many of us regard him as an unassuming saint in our midst.”

Verzilli was also named one of 100 exemplary professors by the American Association for Higher Learning in 1991.

Gombola presented the award to John Clark, who he says was “responsible for initiating the doctoral program and an advocate for graduate education in general.”

He says Clark was a also a “prolific author of books and journal articles across a variety of fields, not just limited to business, but also military history,” and one of the greatest teachers Drexel has ever seen.

Curatola presented the award to Paul Dascher – the second PhD faculty member hired by Drexel’s accounting department who later became dean of the Business College – a post he served in for 16 years.

Curatola says he was a “visionary.” Alongside John Clark, Dascher introduced Drexel Business School’s PhD program.

“And most impressively,” Gombola says, “he saw the college get AACSB accreditation at all levels: BS, MBA and PhD.”

The Faculty Hall of Fame is located on the 7th floor of G-Hall.

PHOTO: Drexel LeBow Dean Frank Linnehan, Hall of Fame inductee and Dean Emeritus Paul Dascher, Dean Emeritus Rodger Collons, and Dean Emeritus George Tsetsekos, were all in attendance at the Faculty Hall of Fame induction ceremony.