Monday, March 30, 2015


                                                 JULY, 1928- MARCH,2015

It was January, 1977 when the heavy classroom door banged open and shut. I glanced to my left and first spotted our professor, a short man with black hair slicked back on his head, wearing horn rimmed glasses with a show of intellect and social savvy. He pranced down the aisle toward the podium. He had a happy, but somewhat cocky grin on his face, as he glanced toward us students, the small group to his right. The professor showed a flamboyant style of confidence in a manner of vitality that a conductor of a small symphony attacks an often and repeated performance with much love and gusto.

As he settled his notes on the tall stand with the sun shining brightly through the windows behind, I expected to see at any moment a baton with symphony music mysteriously appearing from somewhere in the room. I realized I was observing a maestro that was preparing to give us a “Great Performance” and he surely did as the semester evolved.

 The Maestro Professor greeted us in his deep melodic voice with an Italian accent
and  vocabulary I had never experienced in all my years.  I immediately knew I was totally unprepared, as a student from rural south Texas. But in his European voice he assured us we were in for a flight to which he would expose our minds to the greatest thinkers of sociological theory, Vilfredo Pareto, Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, etc.  And if we opened our minds, listened and studied with him it would be worth it. He would teach us logic through these great scientists that would bring enrichment and much meaning to our lives.      

And so he did. My mind was indeed open and grasped so much that has carried me through years of teaching and observing human behavior. I will always be grateful for the education I received from my wonderful professors in sociology, and especially from Professor Joseph Lopreato. Yes, he will be sorely missed, but his spirit will live in the minds of many through generations of his students.  I can still hear his voice point out the teachings of Pareto’s logic and nonlogic of human behavior.  Then I better understand the world around me. THANK YOU PROFESSOR LOPREATO.