The University of Dubuque inducted two new members into its Faculty Hall of Fame on Thursday, May 9, 2013. Paul Jensen, associate professor of philosophy and religion, was recognized with the John Knox Coit Prize, and Leicester Longden, associate professor of evangelism and discipleship, was recognized with the William L. Lomax Award.
The “Excellence in Teaching and Advising Awards” at the University of Dubuque were established by Richard and Donna Svrluga in 1995-96 to recognize the contributions and impact of University faculty on the lives of students. Two of the three awards were named in honor of former distinguished faculty members – John Knox Coit and William Lomax.
John Knox Coit Prize:
An integral member of the Philosophy Department from 1955-65, Professor Coit was more than a teacher. He became a mentor and friend to his students. Known as a “man of wit,” he made a lasting impression on his students. Coit died in 1995 at the age of 79.
William L. Lomax Award:
Fondly remembered by his students who studied business, Professor Lomax was smart, tough, fair, no-nonsense, and fun. As a member of the Business Department from 1953-69, he influenced the lives of many students. Lomax died in 1986 at the age of 83.
Paul Jensen earned the bachelor of arts degree in history from North Park College, the MDiv and ThM from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, the PhD in philosophical theology from the University of Virginia, and the JD from the University of Iowa College of Law. Jensen served the University of Dubuque as an adjunct instructor for three years before joining the faculty full time in 2004. Prior to joining UD full time, he served as an assistant pastor in Annandale, VA; taught philosophy at Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), and practiced law with the firm of Hammer, Simon & Jensen in Dubuque.
Jensen spent most of his youth in Japan where his parents were missionaries – graduating from high school in Tokyo before returning to the U.S. for college. Considered by his colleagues to be a supremely gifted teacher, his passion for his field is both evident and infectious. He is known by students as an inspired and inspiring teacher; a riveting lecturer and storyteller.
“Paul’s personal and professional conduct is of the highest ethical standards,” stated Sean Bensen, associate professor of English. “He treats his students as people created in the image of God who are therefore worthy of devoting his time and energy to help them develop their abilities to the fullest. He is kind, extremely patient with students, personable, gregarious, and always concerned with where they are at in their learning. His willingness to devote time to helping students – even those who he does not personally have in class – is a remarkable testament to how he reflects the very best of the University’s Mission.”
Leicester Longden earned the bachelor of arts in philosophy at Lewis and Clarke College, the bachelor of divinity at Union Theological Seminary, and both the master and doctor of philosophy degrees from Drew University. He joined the faculty at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in 2001, where he serves as associate professor of evangelism and discipleship. A Canadian who lives as a permanent alien resident in the U.S., Longden has been a pastor in a small rural church, and a minister of education and senior pastor in two large churches. His ecumenical experience includes teaching assignments in an Episcopal prepatory school, a Roman Catholic college and diocese, and two United Methodist universities. As an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Longden has served as a delegate to the General Conference, a columnist for the United Methodist News Service, and a participant in several national dialogues sponsored by the United Methodist General Commission on Church Unity and Inter-religious Concerns.
“Les is exceptionally caring and nurturing of his students, seeking to develop in them the knowledge and skills they will need to succeed professionally and personally,” said Philip Jamieson, assistant professor of pastoral theology. “Students see his classes as challenging, stimulating and relevant to their professional lives and are captivated by his passion for the content. Exhibiting the highest degree of professionalism in his teaching and advising, the recipient is regarded as fair, kind, open-minded, and a mentor to both students and younger faculty.”