Letter to the Editor: A Tribute to Dr. Piper

Dear Editor:

This is in response Adam Labonte’s article in last week’s paper entitled ‘Thirty Years of Admirers Praise Dr. Piper.” I would like to add to the sentiment of that article with my own experience.’ I can still vividly recall the first political science class I took with Dr. Piper twenty one years ago in the fall semester of 1986.’ I still have the required textbook for that course and can remember the room number, Plant Hall 220, and even where I sat in the class.’ Of course, I remember the lectures and course content much more vividly.’ ‘ ‘ This was my first semester at UT and this class did much to form my subsequent views of what it means to be a university professor.’ I was amazed at the breadth of Dr. Piper’s knowledge in this class, and immensely respected the erudition and scholarship that I knew he brought to the college lectern.’ After that class, I expected that all my professors would have the same dedication to teaching and scholarship’mdash;and avoided any professor who didn’t meet this standard.’ After that semester, I also took as many classes I could with Dr. Piper’mdash;about six different courses in total.’ To this day, Dr. Piper remains the best professor I have encountered in my educational journey’mdash;which has included stops as a student at Ohio State, Georgetown, Oxford University (England), as a Staff ‘amp; Faculty member at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a professor at UT myself since 2000.’ His excellence in the classroom and as a scholar was above and beyond the time he took being involved in supervising UT student government for so many years.’ ‘ Dr. Piper’s service and work ethic remains the standard for students and professors alike to emulate today.’ Countless former students like myself owe Richard Piper a debt of gratitude’mdash;the University of Tampa does as well.’ Dr. Piper, congratulations on thirty years of service with UT’s student government’mdash;from an old student and current colleague.

Professor James Beckman

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