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Three retiring members of the administration were recognized by President Arthur J. Rothkopf ’55 at Lafayette’s annual trustee-faculty dinner Friday, May 20. They are Cyrus S. Fleck Jr. ’52, special assistant to the president; James J. Klein, director of computing services; and Philip G. Schroeder, assistant to the president and administrative secretary to the Board of Trustees.

Cy Fleck

Lafayette takes justifiable pride in its identity as a student-centered college. And I am aware of no member of the Lafayette administration who has ever served the interests of our students longer or with greater devotion than has Cy Fleck.

An Easton native, the son of a Lafayette alumnus and trustee, and himself a 1952 graduate of the College (with a major in government and law), Cy has worked at his alma mater for close to four-and-a-half decades. If he made one misstep, it was enrolling at Lehigh long enough to earn an MBA. But he has attended more than 50 Lafayette-Lehigh games without ever cheering for the wrong side.

Cy was hired as a member of the development office staff but spent most of his career as registrar. When he retired from that position in 1997, he accepted my invitation to stay on as my special assistant. Current students are most familiar with Cy in his capacity as director of our study-abroad program. During his affiliation with that program, Lafayette has ranked among the leaders in the number of undergraduates who take advantage of those opportunities.

In a profile that appeared in The Lafayette earlier this spring, Cy underscored his respect and admiration for students by noting that “the college is definitely heading [in] the right direction, and it’s the students that are making it happen.” Of course that’s only possible because people like Cy are here to guide and encourage them.

Although Cy’s retirement will enable him and Jane to travel more extensively, they also look forward to volunteering for Lafayette. True to Cy’s commitment to our students, one of his special goals is to help connect undergraduates with alumni.

Jim Klein

Between his graduation from Franciscan University with a B.S. in physics and his hiring by Lafayette in 1992 as supervisor of networking and technical services, Jim Klein spent 27 years with IBM as a systems engineer.

When he applied for the position here, he highlighted six reasons why he thought he would be a good fit at the College. The fifth point was the following: “Effective teaching/communication skills across the spectrum from senior management to beginning-level end users.”

We now know exactly what Jim meant. While Lafayette has benefited greatly from his technical expertise, what really set him apart was his ability to communicate in a way that suited each audience. Whether he was meeting with his staff or assisting new users, he was approachable and personable. And his comments were typically seasoned with his delightfully dry wit.

Jim’s success in increasing the comfort level for colleagues and other members of the campus community continued as he assumed new titles, capped by his appointment as director of computing services in 1999. The following year he took on his greatest technical and communications challenge at Lafayette: the installation of our high-speed super network.

Jim, we trust that you are enjoying golf, fishing, and the other pleasures of retirement at a somewhat slower speed than that at which the super network operates (at least most of the time . . .). We have appreciated the contributions that you and Karen have made over the past 13 years and hope to see you often.

Phil Schroeder

If you check the etymology of the word secretary, you’ll find that it’s related to the word secret – and is derived from the Middle English term for someone “trusted with private or secret matters.”

As assistant to the president and administrative secretary to the Board of Trustees since 1974, Phil Schroeder has been entrusted with the secrets of four Lafayette presidents, five board chairs, and countless active and emeritus trustees. Before that he served for five years as Lafayette’s director of student residence – a job that acquainted him with secrets of another sort.

Of course dealing with confidential matters is but one dimension of Phil’s current responsibilities. He is also ringmaster, recorder, referee, and last but not least weather wizard (a talent we expect him to put to good use tomorrow.)

It helps that Phil majored in psychology, graduating with honors from Gettysburg and then earning an M.A. at Cornell. But his academic background alone does not explain the quality of his service to Lafayette. That can only be explained by the intangibles – the patience, poise, probity, and consummate professionalism – with which he has so faithfully fulfilled his duties.

Retirement will enable Phil to pursue his personal interests in history and travel and to remain involved with the Jacobsburg Historical Society and Bushkill Stream Conservancy. In addition, Phil plans to continue his association with the American Friends of Lafayette, which he serves as treasurer. We trust that he and Barbara will also remain close and very special Friends of Lafayette College.

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