Verbum Incarnatum: An Academic Journal of Social Justice

Essays in Honor of Philip Lampe

In Memoriam: Philip E. Lampe, Ph.D.

It is fitting that this volume of Verbum Incarnatum is dedicated to the memory of the late Philip E. Lampe, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of the Incarnate Word. He not only believed passionately in social justice, but he also created the title for this journal: Verbum Incarnatum: An Academic Journal of Social Justice. He taught, wrote, and acted as an advocate for social justice throughout his life. The decision by co-editors Dr. Ben Miele and Dr. Julie Miller to dedicate this volume in his memory was a wise decision and they are to be commended. Dr. Philip E. Lampe joined Incarnate Word College in 1970. He was hired by IWC president Dr. S. Thomas Greenburg and was the second Sociologist in the institution’s history, joining Dr. Winifred Murray, also a Professor of Sociology. Prior to beginning work at IWC, Dr. Lampe taught English at Bi-National Institute in Morelia, Mexico from 1960-65 and social justice at Escuela de Campesinas from 1963-65. He also served as Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Southeastern Louisiana College from 1967 to 1970. Following high school graduation and before embarking on his teaching career, Dr. Lampe served two years in the U.S. Army in the 1950s, stationed for much of that time in Salzburg, Austria. It was in Mexico, however, that Dr. Lampe met and married his wife of thirty-four years, Luz Maria, and where his two oldest children, Sam and Mark, were born. His third child, Margaret, was born in Louisiana. Mrs. Lampe died in 1995. When Dr. Lampe came to IWC in 1970 the college advertised itself as the “college across the street from Earl Abel’s on Broadway.” Its faculty was made up largely of nuns in the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and local priests. Through the 1970s, lay faculty began joining IWC. Early teaching companions at IWC included Dr. Tarcisio Beal in History, Dr. Larry Hufford in Political Science, and Dr. Robert Connelly in Philosophy. Dr. Lampe always remembered the days when every faculty member knew each other socially and professionally, when there were annual outdoor parties by the old swimming pool, and when actor Gregory Peck made radio advertisements for Incarnate Word College. Over the span of his career Dr. Lampe held almost every faculty governance office. He was the only Faculty Athletic Representative for the time IWC was in the NAIA. One of his proudest accomplishments came when he was selected Moody Professor for 1987-88. During his forty-nine years at Incarnate Word he witnessed Incarnate Word College become University of the Incarnate Word and the mascot change from the Crusaders to the Cardinals. Phil served several university presidents, witnessed the development of new academic and athletic programs, experienced the growth of students and faculty, and saw the internationalization of the campus. One of his fondest memories was going to basketball games, especially when Danny Kaspar was coaching. Dr. Lampe taught numerous courses over the years, including Introductory Sociology, Urban Sociology, and Minority Relations. He was always a keen follower of the noted Sociologist Father Andrew Greeley. Dr. Lampe’s scholarly contributions to the discipline were significant, including more than fifteen books and monographs, over fifty refereed journal articles, forty chapters and cases, and more than forty international, national, and regional refereed presentations. Dr. Lampe was listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, International Who’s Who in Education and in Outstanding Educators of America. When Dr. Lampe retired, it was with the longest record of continuous teaching in the history of the University of the Incarnate Word. On a personal note, I was not only his colleague, but truly his friend. We had similar political viewpoints and our conversations often touched on political and ideological issues. He was a St. Louis native and hence, a loyal Cardinals baseball fan. He fretted over the Dallas Cowboys. He was very supportive of all UIW sports, even teaching a course on the Sociology of Sport. In all the years I knew Phil, I never once heard him say a “swear word.” Really. He would express his displeasure at politicians he didn’t approve of, but I never once saw him lose his temper or get mad. Phil had an “even keel,” for sure. Phil was a devout Catholic, a regular attendee of mass at the Village at Incarnate Word for many years, frequently serving as Eucharistic Minister. Sister Martha Ann Kirk, a member of the founding congregation for the University, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, had this to say about Phil: “Over the years he touched thousands of people, spoke for a world of justice and peace, and was so much a part of Incarnate Word. I began teaching at the College in 1972 and think of him as always being there. Whether doing art or writing an article, he was creative in so many ways.” I think it is appropriate that I give Phil the last word here. In 2006, in the first edition of Verbum Incarnatum, he published a piece titled “The Shame of being Number One.” It had to do with the United States being the world’s leader among industrialized nations in overall poverty, childhood poverty, and in its inability to provide basic health care, among other “shames.” At the conclusion of the article he touched on the “criteria for a just society.” Phil wrote that we had failed to live up to our professed values and that government policy should be examined in light of the following principles: 1) Dignity of the Human Person 2) Dignity of Work 3) Community and the Person 4) Rights and Responsibilities 5) Options for the Poor 6) Solidarity of Humanity 7) Care for Creation He ended by saying: “We must recognize that without justice there will be no peace, either in our country or in the world. If we are as concerned for the rights and welfare of others as much as for our own, and if we apply the principles of social justice, we may become the Christian nation we profess to be.”



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