Dr. Lydia Panaro
Distinguished Lasallian Educator 2003-04
“There is something special about teachers who are unselfish, unstinting in their giving, and who do not measure their efforts” (Brother Charles Gant). We recognize these qualities in you, Lydia. You have been a distinguished member of the English department since 1969. During all these years of service to Manhattan College, you have demonstrated a commitment to the department and the college by your leadership, your participation in numerous committees and excellence in teaching. To all your many tasks, you have brought your characteristic passion, dedication and straight-talking ways.
As Chairperson of the English department, you were instrumental in hiring women in a department previously dominated by men. Earlier, as a member of Committee “W,” you worked tirelessly to meet the needs of incoming women to a male college, from lounge facilities, to new courses (Literature by Women), to mentoring. As a member of the Faculty Welfare Committee, you have consistently fought to improve faculty salaries and benefits. As director of the Core Curriculum, you were particularly effective in fostering greater coordination between the several departments that teach in the Core. Core day has become a great forum for exchange of ideas and approaches to teaching. By organizing a Core Symposium every semester, you bring faculty and students together on the podium.
As a teacher you are a believer in simplicity and clarity in expression and you are a sworn enemy of adjectives, adverbs and purple prose. Some of us have fought many a battle with you over a comma. You hold your students to the highest standards, you are a most generous colleague, a patient listener, and are compassionate to the core.
In recent years, you and your husband moved from your home on the West Side of Manhattan, from the city life you love, to Mamaroneck to take care of your ailing mother. Your love for and devotion for your mother is yet another expression of your Lasallian commitment to all that is finest in the world.
For your many achievements, for your visionary leadership, commitment to the liberal arts, dedication to every task you undertake, we are proud to call on Brother Thomas to present you with the award of Distinguished Lasallian Educator.