Clark Strausser taught economics at Pitt–Johnstown for 35 years

Clark Strausser, professor emeritus of Economics at Pitt–Johnstown, died Aug. 20, 2020. 

A familiar face on campus for decades, he was hired on Sept. 1, 1973 as an associate professor of Economics at the Johnstown campus and retired on Aug. 31, 2008.

“Although he retired over a decade ago, Dr. Strausser was a distinguished member of the university family for 47 years, until the very last day of his life when several of us here at the University called to chat with him on Thursday morning,” said Jem Spectar, president of Pitt–Johnstown. “As a professor, students benefitted from his brilliance as he challenged them to bring out their best. Over the years, alums have shared with me that his excellent and rigorous teaching as well as his high expectations, pushed them to work extremely hard and they credit him for their success later in life.”

“Dr. Strausser was a smart and tough professor,” said Raymond B. Wrabley, chair of the Division of Social Sciences and Division of Business and Enterprise. “To many he seemed intimidating, but he was also a hugely generous, gentle and compassionate man. He gave gifts to the children of faculty and staff, tutored struggling students long after he retired, and cared deeply about Pitt–Johnstown and our community. I'll miss our daily conversations.” 

Along with his work in the classroom, Strausser was also an avid supporter of Pitt–Johnstown athletics, both academically and financially. 

“We formed a unique and unlikely friendship for two men from completely different backgrounds,” said Pat Pecora, Pitt–Johnstown’s athletic director and head wrestling coach. “The relationship withstood the test of time, for over 45 years, and touched thousands of lives. I will always value and treasure our friendship. ‘Doc’ Strausser became a part of my family and was a vital member of the UPJ wrestling family. He will be missed but never forgotten.”

The university recognized Strausser for his distinguished service to student-athletes and the collegiate athletic program with the Meritorious Service Award at the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. He also created the Clark W. Strausser Scholarship Fund.

— From the Pitt–Johnstown website