Fantastic Four Retire from Briar Cliff After 41 Years
May 19, 2021
Four Briar Cliff University professors have announced their retirement after entering the then college in 1980. Tom Kleen, Richard Steinbach, Judy Thompson, and Paul Weber were the longest tenured faculty members, each serving over 40 years.
Reflecting on their time at Briar Cliff, they noted the physical changes they’ve seen on campus and the advancement in technology as the most obvious.
Computer Science professor Tom Kleen, recalls at one time having as many computers as the college – one. In the same respect, Business professor Judy Thompson remembers signing up for training for the original spreadsheet program in the first computer lab with a few Apple IIs.
Music professor Richard Steinbach remembers Briar Cliff as his home for the past 41 years and how the Cliff community constantly supported him through his teaching and professional endeavors.
Chemistry professor Paul Weber says the most notable change has been the university’s increase in student diversity over the years, especially international students.
One thing that has stayed constant throughout the past 41 years, is the caring community that has gifted these professors some of their favorite memories and experiences.
“I’ve made some very good friends with the faculty here, and we’ve graduated some great students that have gone on to do very well in their lives,” says Kleen. “I’m very proud of them.”
“There are too many memories, but the students and employees have been my favorite part of BCU. I’m lucky to have been around such great people,” Thompson says. “It was so rewarding getting to work with student entrepreneurs in the Small Business Lab.”
“A very special highlight of my career at Briar Cliff was the opportunity to perform my solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 2015 with so many Briar Cliff faculty, staff and administrators in the audience,” Steinbach says.
“Interaction among all segments of the BCU community was strong,” Weber says. “All first-year students witnessed faculty from multiple disciplines sharing their insights on what it means to be a human.”
Briar Cliff University thanks these faculty for their years of service to the community and the impact they’ve made during their time at The Cliff.