Longstanding Faculty Members Retire
May 04, 2011
Two long-standing University of Mount Union professors – Dr. Len Epp, professor of biology and Dr. Martin Horning, professor of economics, accounting and business administration – are entering new phases of their lives. Both Epp and Horning are retiring at the close of this academic year, and retirement receptions were held recently in their honor.
Dr. Leonard Epp
“Several things have been constant for Len throughout his career here at Mount – great teaching, outstanding research, demand for rigor, love for his students, being an ambassador for the sciences and Mount Union and a passion for Penn State football,” said Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of Mount Union, during Epp’s retirement reception. “Len, congratulations on a career in which you positively impacted the lives of many. Congratulations on this phase of your life for making a difference. Your impact on Mount Union will last forever.”
A member of the Mount Union faculty since 1970, Epp earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Gettysburg College and master’s and doctoral degrees from Pennsylvania State University. While at Mount Union, he served in various capacities including chair of the Department of Biology, member of the Academic Policies Committee and advisor to the institution’s chapter of Beta Beta Beta, among other roles. The University’s highly respected pre-med program is largely the result of Len’s preparation and advising of those students with high potential. In fact, he was recognized for his dedication and passion for teaching only seven short years after he stepped foot on campus. In 1977, he received the Great Teacher Award, which recognizes a member of the faculty who stimulates students to a knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the subject matter.
“I have to tell you that I feel like I’ve just done all that,” said Epp when explaining how his experience at Mount Union has been like riding on a rollercoaster. “My rollercoaster is now slowing down, and in a few days it is going to stop real short and that bar is going to come up and I’m going to have to get out. But after Commencement, I don’t know what my life will be like, but it’s been a great ride.”
Dr. Martin Horning
“Martin has done meaningful work. My, is that an understatement!,” said Giese when discussing Horning’s ability to carry out Mount Union’s mission to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work and responsible citizenship. “For more than 30 years, Martin has been a shining example of what a successful faculty member is. He provides insight and inspiration. He is a rigorous and demanding, yet supportive. He is a mentor to many. Early in his career he was identified as a Great Teacher, and he has continued in that role for generations of students.”
A 1971 graduate of Mount Union, Horning earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics, a master’s in economics from Bowling Green State University and a doctoral degree in economics from Rutgers University in 1979 emphasizing work in labor economics, public expenditures and finance. In the fall of 1979, he returned to Mount Union as an economics professor and has served in that capacity for more than 30 years. Horning was recognized as Mount Union’s Great Teacher in 1991, and has taught classes in macroeconomics, labor economics and labor relations, the economics of gender, economic development and comparative economic systems.
While at Mount Union, Horning has served on numerous committees including the institution’s Committee on Campus Life and Subcommittee on Gender Issues and Non-Discrimination. He also served as a faculty advisor to Pi Gamma Mu, a national social science honor society.
“The first thing I heard about was ‘Horning in the morning,’” said Nicole Plant, a senior business administration major of Upper Arlington, Ohio, during Horning’s retirement reception. “So, if you were going to take a class with Dr. Horning, you were going to be up early and you were probably going to be there the entire class period. But you were going to be learning the whole time.”
Plant, whose advisor is Horning, commented about the unique relationships Mount Union professors have with their students. “He truly brings himself into the classroom. He was different in that you truly get his emotions and his feelings when he’s teaching. If you’re learning from someone who has that much passion, you’re more willing to learn. So from all of us, we just want to say thank you.”