The peerless professor

Ken Loparo hugs Marc Buchner at their shared retirement party in Nord Hall, May 2022.

The peerless professor

After more than 40 years on the Case faculty, Ken Loparo will have a Silver Bowl to reflect the memories.

It caused a sensation at the Case School of Engineering this spring when Ken Loparo, PhD ’77, retired from full-time teaching after 43 years on the faculty. His fellow alumni made sure he will leave with lasting recognition.

 

At Homecoming 2022, the beloved professor is to receive the Silver Bowl, the highest honor bestowed by the Case Alumni Association. The tribute recognizes Loparo’s long and distinguished service to Case as an educator, researcher, and champion of the Case Alumni Association.

 

The Silver Bowl, presented occasionally by past presidents of the CAA, was last awarded in 2018 to Loparo’s friend and mentor Dean Tom Kicher ’59, MS ‘62, PhD ’65, who passed away in February.

 

“It’s important to get recognition from your colleagues and your classmates and your friends,” Loparo said. “But this award is really important to me because the last recipient is Tom Kicher.”

 

A Cleveland native, Loparo came to the Case faculty from Cleveland State University in 1979 and dug in. He occasionally fielded other offers, he said, but he and his wife, Mary, always resolved to stay. Both of his children, Joe and Jessica, earned Case degrees. Jessie even had Dad for engineering classes.

 

He received the university’s top teaching awards: The Carl F. Wittke Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and the Gutti Memorial Teaching Award, given by engineering students.


His loyalty and zeal reached all parts of campus. Loparo chaired the CWRU Faculty Senate during the 1999-2000 school year. A long-time member of the board of directors of the CAA, he served as board president from 2009 to 2011.

 

His faculty and administrative roles included professor, department chair, associate dean and institute director. His contacts with industry helped to equip labs, fund research and lead Case students to coveted jobs. Most recently, he held the title of Arthur L. Parker Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering and faculty director of ISSACS, the Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems, which he helped found.

 

He said he’s still weighing what his role will be as emeritus professor but that Case students made his memories lasting.

 

“I’ve loved teaching my whole life,” he said. “The students at Case are particularly special. They’re extremely talented, highly driven, curious. It’s a great opportunity to be with them in the classroom.”

 

Many of those former students say the same about Professor Loparo.

 

The Homecoming awards program begins at 6 p.m. Friday, October 7, in Strosacker Auditorium. Learn more and register at casealumni.org/homecoming.

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Ken Loparo chats with his friend and longtime colleague Tom Kicher.

Ken Loparo being awarded the Arthur Parker Endowed chair in 2014 by Parker CEO and President Don Washkewicz.

“But this award is really important to me because the last recipient is Tom Kicher.”

— Ken Loparo

Ken Loparo enjoys his retirement party May 19, 2022.

The Loparo family.

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