Physics professor emeritus Paul E. Wack passed away in the morning on Tuesday, November 19, at the age of 94. He came to The Bluff in fall of 1949 and was one of the first faculty to move into the newly-completed Engineering building (now Donald E. Shiley Hall). His contemporaries included legendary campus physics teachers Br. Godfrey Vassallo, C.S.C., and Merle Starr, namesake of a small observatory which once was located behind the Bauccio Commons.
Paul retired officially in May of 1986, but continued to teach until 1999, making him the longest-serving active faculty member in University history at 50 years. His various duties included serving as chair of the Deparment of Physical and Life Sciences from 1966 to 1973; membership on the Academic Senate from 1978 to 1983, and chairing the Rank & Tenure Committee from 1977 to 1979. He won the Culligan Award, the University’s highest faculty honor, in 1961.
Services will take place at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Tuesday, November 26, at 11 a.m. Immediately following the service there will be a reception in the school hall. Paul is survived by his son Edwin Wack; daughters Mary Brandenburg and Ellen Wack; grandchildren Lauren Wack, Kelly, Kendall, and Bobby Brandenburg, and Paul Alan Wack; and his sister, Elizabeth Doyle (Aunt Liz). His wife of 56 years, Mary Ellen, passed away in 2009, as did his eldest son, Paul Wack Jr., in 2010. Through all of life’s trials Paul was unfailingly positive and upbeat, and a devout and humble member of the Catholic faith. Our prayers and condolences to his family and colleagues.