When Joseph Romano, Ph.D., began teaching philosophy at Cabrini in 1960, some of his current students’ parents may not yet have been born.
So he surely must have witnessed significant changes over the course of half a century, right?
“Well, ‘change’ is an elusive term that needs clarification—especially in my discipline, that focuses so much on encouraging students to be critical thinkers,” said Dr. Romano, ever the philosopher.
“What hasn’t changed is my work—preparing students to be well rounded, inquisitive, clear-thinking human beings here and beyond the walls of Cabrini College—to be life-long learners.”
Romano’s former students marvel at how masterfully he makes his classes relevant and interesting, and how his unique approach helps students think in new, insightful ways.
“He provided us the tools to come to our own conclusions,” said Brian Rice ’01. “When I think of Cabrini College, Dr. Romano comes to mind. To me, he embodies everything the College aims to achieve.”
In November 2009, a series of events kicked off to reconnect Romano with alumni whose lives he touched in 50 years at Cabrini. Already, he has been recognized at events in Gwynedd, Pa., New York, and Lititz, Pa.
The “tour” culminates with a gala in the Mansion during Alumni Weekend. Reconnecting with former students, and hearing how they have incorporated his lessons into their lives, gives him great joy.
“What means the most to me is when former students stay in touch and indicate that the mental rigor of my discipline has served them well in their professions and in their lives,” said Romano.
“They learned well that ‘the latest answer to any question is never the last answer to that question.’”
Romano’s goal always has been to inspire, to influence, and to enlighten. It is a goal that he has achieved many times over—and one that defines his work at Cabrini.
“Cabrini has never been a job for me,” said Romano. “It is a way of life.”
Through the decades, Romano has helped shape the College. In addition to teaching philosophy and physics, 40 years ago he was on the council that proposed making the College co-educational, a monumental decision in Cabrini’s history.
As vice president for academic affairs 30 years ago, he helped the College revise its core curriculum, establish the honors program, and develop a new way of marketing.
He also was instrumental in the College’s initial accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and in developing Cabrini’s first graduate program, in education.
“It’s hard to comment on all that Joe has done for Cabrini during his years here,” said faculty emeritus and longtime colleague Jolyon Girard, Ph.D.
“He inspires and motivates Cabrini students in the best traditions one can define regarding college teaching.”