Lessons My "White House" Friends Taught Me

Art Lopez


When I arrived at The University of Scranton from Brooklyn, N.Y., the campus became my home away from home, with my friends serving as my extended family. This was especially true because my parents had just moved to Europe, and my friends’ families became my own. They treated me like another son, inviting me for dinner and holidays. I’ve always been grateful for their kindness.

In 1973, my sophomore year, our group moved into the “Pink House.” For mostly good reasons, everyone on campus knew about it. Two years later, we made an exodus to the “White House,” moving our good times next door to Clay Avenue and Linden Street. Our crew was a cohesive blend of different personalities and talents. I learned so much from my “White House” companions and still keep in touch. Bob Pyne ’76 taught me to never feel sorry for myself. Bill Mizerak ’76, G’79 is the godfather of my youngest child. Donny Appenzeller ’76 kept order in the kitchen. Jeffrey Garibaldi ’76 conveyed that it’s OK to poke fun at oneself. Bart Harrison ’76 educated us on how to give a viselike handshake. Mick “Micker” Kuhn ‘76 was the symbol of consistency and reliability. There was Chuck Bastan ’76, who gave us a new way of using the English language. Kevin Hurley ’76 had a sense of humor that could make a rock laugh. Jim Helhowski ’76, aka “Sniper,” traveled with me through Europe via backpack and Eurail pass. Tim Fullam ’76 taught us how to sleep with no worries.

There was also Jim Carney ’76, who convinced us it was “cool” to be smart. The rest of our pack included: Joe Markey ’76, G’79; Steve Larkin ’76; our RA, Fitzy; Tim Kullman ’76; and Beatrice, our greatly appreciated maid. Since most of our “crowd” lived in New Jersey, I moved there after graduation. I got a job, met a great girl and married her. At least five of my Scranton friends were in my wedding party. Every five years, somewhere between eight and 10 of us will surface for our college reunion. But now I have another reason to visit campus. This fall, my youngest daughter, Laura, will attend the University. To my surprise, she made the decision all on her own. I hope that someday she’s able to wear a tattoo of Scranton on her heart like I do today.

– Art Lopez ‘76

HOMETOWN: New Providence, N.J.
FAMILY: Wife, Pam; son, Anthony (28);daughters, Lynn (25) and Laura (18)
OCCUPATION: IBM Program ManagerHOBBIES: Exercising; sports enthusiast;dog-walking

Note: Art's story appears in the Fall 2013 edition of the Scranton Journal in our "A Look Back" section.