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As Classes Begin At La Salle, A Very Familiar Face Greets Families

By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - This is the first day of the fall semester at La Salle University and some students may interact with a man who taught their parents, or even their grand-parents.

John (Jack) Rooney, 89 is now professor emeritus and Director of the Masters program in Clinical-Counseling Psychology, but it was 1947 when he joined the faculty and 1940, if you want to count his years as an undergrad, when his romance with La Salle started.

Professor John Rooney. (Credit: LaSalle University)

"I was much-impressed with the place at that time, and I was very pleased with the way the faculty related to the students, you know, got involved, asked you your opinion on things, and encouraged you to think. It was a heady experience, and so when I got to be a faculty member a few years later, why, I wanted to continue that same kind of spirit."

He says he didn't plan to spend all this time at La Salle. It just worked out that way.

"I interviewed for positions at other places and I was offered jobs at other places that would have paid me a good bit more but there was always something that wasn't as good as what I had so I thought, no, I'm going to stay here."

And does it seem like he's been there, well, forever?

"No, not really. In some ways it seems like yesterday"

Rooney looks to the past in a memoir of his time living across the street from Shibe Park, when his parents sold tickets for bleachers in the bedroom.

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