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Thomas W. Norton ’59, professor emeritus of sociology, died Friday, June 24, at the VNA hospice at St. Luke’s, Bethlehem. He was 68.

Calling hours will be 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at Ashton Funeral Home, 14th and Northampton Streets, Easton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 30, at St. Bernard’s Church, 132 S. Fifth St., Easton. Interment will be in Gethsemane Cemetery, Palmer Township.

Norton is survived by his wife of 37 years, Mary Ellen, with whom he moved to Cape May, N.J., last month. He is also survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Norton Frisch, and her husband, Gregory, of Forks Township, Pa., and a granddaughter, Natalie Virginia Frisch.

A member of the faculty for 37 years, Norton inspired generations of students, teaching a wide variety of courses on American society with particular emphasis on social inequality, organizational analysis, and social change.

Among his areas of specialty were corporate culture, the sociology of organizations, and the dynamics of decision-making. He studied corporations from social, cultural, and political perspectives and taught courses incorporating the study of business and institutional ethics. He published several articles in such journals as Business Ethics Quarterly and Journal of Business Ethics.

Norton joined the faculty of his alma mater as instructor of sociology in 1967. He became an assistant professor in 1973, upon finishing work for a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. He received tenure as associate professor in 1974, and was later promoted to full professor. Upon his retirement in 2004 he was named professor emeritus.

Norton was instrumental in founding the department of anthropology and sociology in 1967 and developing its mission and disciplinary structure.

He received the College’s Thomas Roy and Lura Forrest Jones Faculty Lecture Award, in recognition of excellence in teaching and scholarship, in 1976; Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award, for excellence in teaching and outstanding contributions to campus life, in 1982; and Daniel Golden ’34 Faculty Award, for service to the College, in 1998.

Norton served on several departmental and College-wide committees, including the Faculty Committee on Enrollment Planning, which he chaired, and the Faculty Committee on Curriculum and Educational Policy. He served as faculty representative to the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association and the Maroon Club. He served as president of Lafayette’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Born April 3, 1937, Norton was a native of Altoona, Pa., and a graduate of The Hill School, Pottstown, Pa. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Lafayette, with a major in English, and an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1964 and 1973, respectively. The focus of his doctoral dissertation was organizational change and executive values in corporations.

Following graduation from Lafayette Norton served three years, 1959-62, at Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania. He was a research assistant at Pitt from 1963-65 and an instructor in sociology in 1966-67.

A past president of the former Easton Downtown Improvement Group, Norton was a commissioner of the Easton Housing Authority and a member of the Easton Area School District accreditation for growth citizenship team.

Contributions may be made to establish the Thomas W. Norton ’59 Scholarship Fund at Lafayette.

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