Penn College grants ‘emeritus’ honor to retired faculty member

Published 06.09.2022

Faculty & Staff
Graphic Design & Art
Business, Arts & Sciences

Pennsylvania College of Technology has granted faculty emeritus status to Patrick D. Murphy, a founding member of what is now the graphic design department.

Murphy, who retired in 2010 after 31 years of teaching service to Penn College, was the recipient of the college’s highest honor granted to faculty – the Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award – in 1989.

He developed the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science degree in graphic design and served on a committee charged with developing baccalaureate degrees across campus. Additionally, he was instrumental in implementing capstone course projects for bachelor’s degrees.

Patrick D. MurphyMurphy began his employment with Penn College’s immediate predecessor, Williamsport Area Community College, in 1979 as an assistant professor of advertising art. He became an associate professor in 1989. His supplemental assignments included department head and special adviser.

“Patrick had a vision and a keen sense of industry demands, and he used his talent and expertise to lay the foundation for our exceptional graphic design program,” said Michael J. Reed, vice president for academic affairs and provost. “He is an excellent designer and artist who earned a reputation for always getting the most out his students, while also providing tremendous service to our institution.”

Murphy’s nominator wrote: “His foresight and foundational efforts have served the department and hundreds of students well, and his legacy can be seen in several courses, and in the culture of excellence, present today.

“In particular, he adjusted the design curriculum to include a portfolio course for graduating seniors, establishing cohesion in the professional-quality work of our graduates – this is the primary reason why our graphic design students place significantly higher than nearly all other competing institutions.”

Former-student testimonials from the nomination form include:

“Of all the teachers I've had over the years – not just during college, but over the entirety of my life – Mr. Murphy tops the list of most influential. He didn't just teach; he was an expert craftsman who demonstrated the mastery of a subject.”

“Mr. Murphy had a different approach to teaching. He didn't sugarcoat his feedback. It was blunt. His methods were bold, but they worked in preparing us for work in a difficult industry. I learned a lot from Mr. Murphy – more than he probably realizes.”

“From interesting yet challenging projects to no-nonsense critiques to humorous Murphy-isms, Pat effortlessly taught curiosity, patience, resilience, levity and wild creativity – all qualities that are requirements for life and success as a designer – and human. I'm forever grateful.”

Murphy holds a Master of Science in education and visual arts from Parsons School of Design, New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree from King’s College.

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