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Bernard Lung’aho

Bernard Lung’aho began his studies at William Penn as a freshman after completing his high school education in Kenya. Graduating from William Penn in 1969 with a major in English and a minor in Psychology, a world of opportunity opened up for Lung’aho as he went on to be a high school teacher as well as an insurance financial consultant. After enjoying years of success, Lung’aho retired from Travelers Insurance Company, having filled roles there as both a commercial lines underwriter and financial consultant.

Lung’aho recalls his time at William Penn as a challenging experience while he adjusted to being far from family, working part time to meet some of the expenses of education, all the while taking a full load of classes each semester.  “I had to learn how to manage my studies as well as my work,” Lung’aho remembers.

After his college education, he returned to Kenya where he was promoted to the position of lecturer, thus transferring him from teaching high school English to a college that trained primary school teachers.  He was also appointed to a panel that reviewed the high school English curriculum for the entire country and made recommendations on how the curriculum could be improved.  Shortly after Lung’aho returned to the States in 1977, he received a letter that was forwarded from the Inspector for English in Kenya asking if Lung’aho would be interested in taking over that post as the inspector was planning to retire.  Although Lung’aho was already firmly rooted back in the U.S., he considers this offer a great honor.

Diversity played a key role in his time at William Penn.  “For the size of the student body, there were students from just about all continents,” he said. “I was a member of the International Relations Club.”  Interactions with many of these international students opened his eyes on how, as human beings, individuals had more in common than not.  “We had more in common that united us [rather] than divided us,” he realized.  Some of the students he met during this time became lifelong friends.

Lung’aho could feel the value William Penn placed in each individual.  “Many organizations on campus were very interested in finding out about my culture and my experience growing up in Kenya,” he recalled.  One of the more memorable opportunities that has stuck with him since his graduation was when he worked with the men and women of the maintenance department at the school.  “I felt that this gave me a more well-rounded college experience.  My interactions with these folks [were] very special,” he said.

Lung’aho believes that the small size of the student body and the dedication shown by faculty and staff helped him to achieve his personal goals. It was an environment where he felt like his opinion mattered.  “I don’t think I would have been able to get the same in a big university lecture hall.  I left Penn with the distinct advantage of having learned that not all students learn at the same pace, and that one has to be flexible and creative in order to reach all students in the classroom,” he concluded.

  • William Penn, 1969 - Bachelor of Arts - English major and Psychology minor
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