Academic Spotlight
Faculty Research, Performance and Exhibitions

Roy LaCasce Jr.: Tales from a 61-Year Career in Teaching

Story posted November 10, 2008


Few professors have had the impact on Bowdoin students enjoyed by Physics Professor Emeritus Elroy O. LaCasce Jr. In a 60-plus year teaching career, the physicist—who specializes in ocean acoustics —has schooled thousands of students in the fundamentals of physics. He has inspired many to pursue advanced degrees and careers in the sciences.

Over 30 of those students gathered in his honor over Homecoming Weekend 2008, for a dinner and symposium featuring talks and presentations by several of his distinguished students. Among them, an astrophysicist, Roman archaeologist, biophysicist, science filmmaker, and environmental energy consultant. The event celebrated the inauguration of the Elroy O. LaCasce Speakers Series, which emphasizes the diversity of careers open to those with undergraduate degrees in physics.

“It’s fascinating to see how much they’ve accomplished and in such a variety of fields. This is only a small sample,” beamed LaCasce, who is himself a graduate of Bowdoin’s Class of 1944.

"Roy has always emphasized the personal connection in teaching," noted Physics Department Chair Madeleine Msall. "The generosity with which those former students then reach out to encourage our current Bowdoin students, and young people in their home communities, is the best tribute of all."

Watch Prof. LaCasce reflect on his teaching.

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