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Recent passings of former economics and education professors Tapan Munroe and John Schippers

Schippers, former director of teacher education, founded Pacific's Teacher Corps program and preserved the memoirs of WWII aviators, while Munroe became a prominent Bay Area economist
Apr 24, 2014

John SchippersJohn Vernon Schippers

May 24, 1929 -
Dec. 1, 2013


Schippers came to Pacific in 1962 after completing his Ph.D. in Education at the University of Iowa. He taught science education and was director of student teaching in the Gladys L. Benerd School of Education. He also served for a time on the board of directors for UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science and participated in one of their teacher education programs designing projects for teaching science concepts to elementary students.

Schippers established Pacific's Teacher Corps program in 1968, designed to encourage and enable community college students to become credentialed teachers. The program was federally funded and placed emphasis on underserved populations. After six years, funding was taken over by the state and the program was administered by Stockton Unified School District.  

He also directed a program in affiliation with the American Schools in Mexico for students who chose to do their student teaching abroad and enjoy the experience of living with a family in another country for a semester. At his retirement in 1990, he was awarded the Order of Pacific.

After retirement, Schippers kept active in the WWII Warbirds group he founded in 1983 to preserve the memories of World War II aviators and aviation memorabilia. As a result of his efforts, hundreds of stories have been recorded that would otherwise have been lost. He edited and published two volumes of the memoirs, The Way it Was: Memoirs of Flyers in WWII, Vols. I & II. Schippers served in the Army during the Korean War, and his elder brother served on a B-24 during WWII that was shot down in the Philippines. Schippers, who became a pilot himself, was passionate about flying and even built an experimental aircraft.

His wife of more than 60 years, Sara "Sally" (Underwood) Schippers '65 EDU, was on staff at Pacific from 1977 to 1984 and worked in the Conservatory of Music and Business and Finance. She preceded him in death on October 11 at the age of 83, less than two months prior to John's passing. No services were held for John, according to his request.

Tapan MunroeTapan Munroe

Feb. 18, 1936 - April 1, 2014


Prominent Bay Area economist and former University of the Pacific economics professor Tapan Munroe passed away on April 1 at the age of 78.

Born in Calcutta, India, Munroe attended the University of Allahabad, majoring in chemistry and physics. He met his wife on a visit to the U.S. and returned in 1960, where he worked as a scientist for Xerox and then General Electric in New York. He later earned a master's degree in economics at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, and a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Munroe came to Pacific in 1970, where he became professor and chair of the economics department. During two sabbatical years he was a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later a fellow at the University of Augsburg in West Germany.

He left Pacific in 1981 to join PG&E, eventually becoming their chief economist in San Francisco. He was a former chair of the Economics Committee of the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, D.C., a former member of the National Petroleum Council Task Force on Oil Prices and was also president of the Bay Area chapter of the National Association of Business Economists.

A sought-after Bay Area speaker, he wrote a twice-monthly business and economics column for the Contra Costa Times for 20 years. He also wrote or co-wrote a number of books about economics, including Planet in Conflict: Balancing Energy Needs, Economic Growth, and Environmental Quality; Innovation: Key to America's Prosperity and Job Growth; Closing America's Job Gap; and Dot-Com to Dot-Bomb.

Dr. Munroe's life will be celebrated on May 8, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC) at 49 Knox Drive, Lafayette.