The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg announces that Lillian L. Beeson, PhD, professor of Communication, will retire at the close of the 2011 Fall Term.
Beeson’s career at Pitt-Greensburg spans more than 35 years, nearly three-quarters of the time that the regional campus has been in existence. She began teaching at the regional campus in 1975 as a part-time instructor of Communication. In 1978, she was named an assistant professor of Communication and received tenure in 1985. In 2003, she was named a full professor of Communication.
“Dr. Beeson helped to create a school where extraordinary teaching is the norm. Her own teaching sets a very high standard for faculty to emulate, both now and in the future,” said Sharon P. Smith, PhD, president of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. “She fostered an environment where students are individuals and treated as such.”
A double major in English and Speech, Beeson earned a bachelor’s of science from Duquesne University’s School of Education. She then went on to earn a master’s of arts degree and doctorate in Speech-Communication from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Arts and Science. Her research areas were in Rhetorical Discourse, including Theory and practice in persuasion, political communication, and health communication.
Hundreds of Pitt-Greensburg graduates will remember Beeson from the classes she taught in public speaking, discussion, argument, mass communication process, theories of persuasion, freedom of speech and press, nonverbal communication, evidence, communication senior capstone, and independent studies, business communication for MBA students, and various post-graduate seminars for professional groups in medicine, engineering, and law.
“Dr. Beeson saw the potential in each of us and encouraged us to achieve our potential,” notes Kristin (Klocek) Guynn ’06, a Pitt-Greensburg alumna who was mentored by Beeson. “She treated us like professionals and expected us to act professionally. I credit her with instilling in us the skills, work ethic, and confidence that I needed to pursue a career in Communication. She is one of those people who comes into your life and makes a lasting lifelong impression.”
Beeson is the founding director of Pitt-Greensburg’s Humanities Academic Village, a learning community that fosters academic, community, and cultural achievement.
In retirement, Beeson plans to continue to write and to speak or to take on projects in her profession as they interest her. She also plans to do things that she has not had time to do in the past, such as painting, music lessons, travel, and spending time with family and friends.
“I will pick up some creative writing projects that I had started at the request of my sons that present cameo shots of people I have known, and I want to see my text book on persuasion completed, which is under contract with Oxford University Press,” she notes. “Some of these plans are immediate while others are less pressing and will engage me while I adjust to retirement. I will miss teaching and the encounter with students as well as the adventures of my colleagues at Pitt-Greensburg.”
In 2000, Dr. Beeson was the recipient of the Pitt-Greensburg Service Award. She was also the 1997 recipient of the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the 1996 recipient of the Pitt-Greensburg Teaching Award.
Beeson was married to the late Dr. Glen Beeson, who was Dean of the Business School at Duquesne, and they had two sons, John Glen Beeson married to Britannia Hobbs and Curtis Andrew Beeson married to Brenda Batenburg with one son, John Bram Beeson. Dr. Lillian Beeson currently lives in North Huntingdon with her husband John Foster Smith, who retired from Blue Cross where he was an internal auditor. Collectively they have nine grandchildren and one dog," Attitude."
Beeson notes, “Retirement should be filled with many family events, including a trip to Japan where John's son David lives with his wife and two children.”
Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 24 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in Education and Spanish, as well as 19 minors. More than 13 percent of Pitt-Greensburg’s full-time faculty—the highest percentage of any University of Pittsburgh campus—have received the prestigious University-wide Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg announces that Lillian L. Beeson, PhD, professor of Communication, will retire at the close of the 2011 Fall Term. Beeson’s career at Pitt-Greensburg spans more than 35 years, nearly three-quarters of the time that the regional campus has been in existence.