By Dave Block ’93

David Veshosky, associate professor of engineering studies and civil & environmental engineering, died on Sunday at age 69.

Veshosky was a member of the Lafayette faculty since 1991. His academic interests included engineering economics; project, construction, and operations management; and management of innovation in engineering and construction.

Dave Veshosky“He was a wonderful person,” says Scott Hummel, William Jeffers Director of the Engineering Division. “His primary concern at Lafayette was always the students. Whether discussing curriculum, research opportunities, or facilities, the students were his priority. Dave was highly respected by faculty across the College and was elected to serve as chair of the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee.”

Veshosky’s other leadership roles at Lafayette included serving as chair of the engineering studies program, from 1998 to 2005 and 2012 to 2013; coordinator of the architectural studies program from its founding in 2003; and director of research services from 2001 to 2006. He also chaired the Academic Research Committee and was the College’s representative to the National Council on Undergraduate Research. He served as a faculty mentor for the Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project (EEGLP), student Community Fellows, and Lafayette participants in the United States Green Building Council’s Natural Talent Design Competition. Most recently, he traveled to Stockholm, Sweden, as the Dyer Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s representative for the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. He also served as faculty adviser to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

His EEGLP students worked on projects such as exploring the feasibility of waste-to-energy power plants as an alternative to imported diesel fuel; improving stormwater drainage in the village of Lomitas, Honduras; envisioning a mobile banking system for Jamaica; and helping a hurricane-devastated neighborhood in New Orleans rebuild as a green community.

“One of Dave’s great strengths was his ability to build relationships with his students and maintain those long after students graduated,” says Hummel. “Many alumni seek him out when they are on campus for Career Fair and other alumni events. I know the alumni will miss seeing Dave when they return to College Hill, and we will surely miss Dave’s sincere kindness.”

Veshosky involved many Lafayette students in his research through projects ranging from analysis of communication involved in construction of Boston’s massive “Big Dig” highway project to development of roofed stadiums and those with retractable roofs.

“Professor Veshosky is great. He’s very flexible and encouraging and open to my ideas,” Janille Smith ’03 said during her work with him as an EXCEL Scholar.

He also mentored many students as they pursued their own research interests.

“Professor Veshosky has been great to work with,”  Ansley Cox ’03 said while conducting a senior honors thesis on gender differences between male and female architects. “He is very supportive, and I think he is just as interested in this project as I am. He has helped me narrow my thoughts and has connected me to people who can answer my questions.”

Bucknell Prof. Michelle Oswald Beiler ’07, recipient of the 2019 Transportation & Development Institute Outstanding Younger Member Award, said last year that Veshosky and Prof. Art Kney were instrumental in preparing her for teaching at the undergraduate level. 

Veshosky shared his research through articles in scientific journals, book chapters, and papers presented at conferences in the United States and Canada. He was a member of the research faculty at the Engineering Research Center for Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems at Lehigh for a dozen years, a research associate at the Center for Innovation Management Studies, and a researcher at the NATO Oceanographic Research Center in La Spezia, Italy.

He worked as a senior analyst at Louis Berger International from 1982 to 1984, a senior civil engineer at CE Maguire from 1978 to 1982, and a civil engineer for the Coastal Branch, U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office from 1972 to 1978.

His community involvement included board positions with Third Street Alliance for Women and Children and the Easton Suburban Water Authority as well as service with the American Society of Civil Engineering, the National Canal Museum, and WDIY Community Public Radio.

Veshosky’s honors at Lafayette included the Marquis Distinguished Teaching Award, the Delta Upsilon Distinguished Mentoring and Teaching Award, and the Daniel L. Golden ’34 Faculty Service Award.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering at Catholic University in 1972; a master’s in science, technology, and public policy at George Washington University in 1978; and a Ph.D. in business and economics at Lehigh in 1992.


  1. Chris Phillips says:

    This is such a deep loss for our community. Dave was a model campus citizen and beloved by so many who got to work with him. Our prayers are with Cathy and the rest of the family.

  2. Harry Folk says:

    Engineering and Lafayette College have suffered a great loss with Dave’s passing!! He was a wonderful professor and a good friend. My prayers are with Cathy and their families.

  3. Serena K. Ashmore says:

    It is a very sad day indeed!! A kind man, outstanding professor and giving mentor. One of the very best individuals you could know… someone who will be missed dearly and remembered with great fondness by many!! My prayers are with Dave’s loved ones and many friends.

  4. Prof. Emeritus Ed McDonald says:

    For many years, Dave and I had led groups of select Lafayette College students to present their research at the annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research. During a chance encounter with Dave toward the beginning of last semester (Fall 2020), we took a pleasant walk down memory lane. We laughed heartily then as once we did while we were together at those memorable NCUR meetings. I will miss my cheerful

    Prof. Emeritus Ed McDonald

  5. Colleen Way says:

    Professor Veshosky was one of the most kind-hearted, selfless people I have ever met. It was such a pleasure to be in his classes and an honor to do research with him. He will be missed on campus.

  6. Kimberly Bartholomew says:

    This is very sad news. Dave was an incredible man. I pray for strength and comfort for his family.

  7. Roland Kushner says:

    I will mourn Dave as a fellow grad student at Lehigh and a faculty colleague at Lafayette in the 1990s, but mostly as a kind and loyal friend for more than 30 years.

    Some years ago, Barbara and I had trouble finding a time to get together with Dave because of conflicting schedules. He lamented how much trouble planning was, and that more spontaneity would help. A few weeks later, we were in Easton and tested the theory by calling him to see what he was up to. He was hosting a birthday party for people we didn’t know, but invited us on the spot. From that party, we connected to new friends who have grown to be among our closest, not least through our shared love of Dave. We will miss him terribly. and send our love to Kathy and Dave’s family.

  8. Erin Dean says:

    Dr. Veshosky was a great teacher and mentor. I learned so much from him. He gave me the opportunity to work on the Big Dig research project as an EXCEL scholar. He was a very kind and understanding person. My condolences to his family.

  9. Mosi London says:

    Professor Veshosky was a great teacher in the classroom and trusted colleague upon graduating…he will be sorely missed!

  10. Emily Schneider, Exec. Asst. to the Provost( retired) says:

    Dave was a gentle man. He was fair, caring, and conscientious in all of his dealings with the provost’s office. I’ll particularly remember his ever-ready smile that lit up his entire face! He was an asset to his students, the College, and his profession. He will be greatly missed.

  11. Sarah Walko says:

    Professor Veshosky was kind, caring, and always had the right advice to put you on the best path. I am so honored to have had been taught by him and to call him my friend. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family.

  12. Dave Taschler ‘75 says:

    I had the opportunity to work with Dave as I began my own career as an adjunct professor. He was an incredible and patient mentor and selflessly shared any information he could over my years in the department. He was a kind and friendly person and I appreciate all he did to make sure that our students got the opportunities and experience needed to be successful.

  13. Abseen Anya '11 says:

    Professor Veshosky was very supportive during my junior and senior years and was always available when I sought his advice. Glad to have met him. My condolences to his family and friends and the Lafayette community.

  14. Mary Roth says:

    Dave and I joined the civil engineering department together. He was a wonderful friend and colleague over the last 29 years. I will miss his smile, his wry sense of humor, and his willingness to speak his mind freely and with passion!

  15. Ed Kerns says:

    I had the pleasure of working with Dave in New Orleans’ lower ninth ward in the post-Katrina rebuild of a devastated place. His skills as an empathetic listener and community problem solver were a joy to observe in action. He connected with people in a fundamental way. Dave was many things…an excellent concept driven engineer, a reader well outside his field, and a remarkably steady friend.

  16. Julia Nicodemus, Engineering Studies says:

    This is a terrible loss for Lafayette and for Dave’s family. I’ve admired and respected Dave since I met him at my Lafayette interview. He cared deeply about students, the college, and the Engineering Studies program. I loved how he always said what he thought, did what he thought was right, and supported students in a myriad of ways. He was a great colleague. I will miss him. The world was better with him in it.

  17. Stephanie Hayes says:

    Both my husband, a civil engineering alum, and I, an alum and administrator of the college, stop to mourn the loss of Dave. I will miss bumping in to Dave on campus. He never walked by without checking in, was never in a meeting where he didn’t put his students first, was always looking for solutions not problems. He was kind, very kind. We will miss him dearly.

  18. Chip Nataro says:

    Dave will be deeply missed. I agree with the many accolades others have posted and pay him one of the highest compliments I can think of, he was a Red Sox fan that I liked.

  19. Gary Gordon says:

    Dave was a wonderful colleague, with a good sense of humor and a kind, gentle approach to the world. I interacted with him when he was the college’s research director, and he gave sound, considered advice. All my best to Cathy.

  20. Jim Dearworth (Biology Dept) says:

    Dave Veshosky was one of those people that made Lafayette a special place.

  21. Suzanne Westfall says:

    Dave was the real deal — a professional, caring, smart, big-hearted colleague, friend, partner, and teacher. I will always be grateful for his contribution to our downtown environmental theater, as he demonstrated what STEAM really stands for.

  22. John Kincaid says:

    A tragic loss at too-young-an-age of a wonderful colleague and good neighbor. Sincere condolences to his family with hopes that fond memories will help soothe their grief.

  23. Lisa Pezzino says:

    A kind man, an honest man, and one of the friendliest! Dave cared about his students and was always there to assist them whether it be for extra help, to talk, or even assisting in finding employment. Dave was and still is well respected at Lafayette! I will second what Professor Dearworth said in his comments, Dave Veshosky made Lafayette a special place!

  24. Susan Averett says:

    Dave and I started at Lafayette the same year, 1991. I always found him to be a wonderful colleague. It stuns me to think he is feels like just yesterday we were going through new faculty orientation. What a loss for Lafayette College.

  25. Eric Ziolkowski says:

    David was one of the nicest people at Lafayette. His dedication to his students was supreme, and his collegiality and tact were exemplary. Although his office was in a building on the opposite side of campus, we often encountered each other. His smile and mode of greeting could not be matched, and he always had something positive to say or interesting to talk about. Dave: You will be sorely missed!

  26. Lee Upton says:

    A terrible loss of a kind, brilliant, and generous man who changed lives. An unwavering force for good, he exemplified fair-mindedness and dedication. That radiant smile of his! He made everyone feel welcome in his presence. We have been so very blessed to be his colleagues and friends.

  27. Fluney Hutchinson says:

    Dave embodied every ideal that makes undergraduate liberal arts learning a special experience. His priority was to help build and contribute to an environment where students thoroughly enjoyed learning and faculty and administrators loved mentoring and nurturing.

    Dave’s classroom was on campus, in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, in rural Honduras after their military coup, in Easton after its fiscal crisis, and so on. He was convinced that students collaborating with communities in distress to solve their most pressing problems was a great learning opportunity for students, faculty and the College.

    He was and is absolutely right on this!

    Thank you Dave for the many lives you touched so deeply and profoundly including mine. You helped define the philosophy and mission of the College’s Economic Empowerment and Global Learning Project; you helped define the philosophy and mission of the Scholar’s program for students; you set the bar for what it means to be an outstanding colleague and partner in the great mission of undergraduate education.

    Looking forward to linking up in the future.

  28. REXFORD AHENE says:

    I am still shocked to have lost such a vivacious friend with a heart of gold. I have crossed paths with Dave in several ways, but most important of all was just knowing him as one of the most helpful colleagues over the years. A person of integrity, he lived by goodness, related with kindness, and was full of life. His words and deeds will forever remain a revered source of reference for me, his students, and the College. In this challenging time, I pray to the Lord to offer comfort to his family and loved ones.

  29. Matt Kamine says:

    A terrible loss – Professor Veshosky was a great person, teacher, and mentor to me and many other students – as an alumni, he was the one Professor I stayed in close contact with and enjoyed all the times we were able to discuss the work each of us was doing.

    As recent as this past semester, I worked with Professor and a bunch of his students on an independent study for our company – even in this unique time of all virtual learning his caring nature came through and his ability to teach was uncanny.- it was a pleasure to interact with him on a weekly basis and see his passion for education.

    He will be sorely missed and he was a great inspiration to all that he interacted with and is a huge loss for the Lafayette community. My condolences and best wishes to his entire family.

    -Matt Kamine ’07

  30. Amos Han ‘14 says:

    I had many positive memories of Prof. Veshosky when I was a student at Lafayette College. I first got in contact with him sophomore year when Prof. Anne Raich, who was my advisor at the time, sent me to Prof. Veshosky to chat about opportunities and he listed potential career options and urban planning seemed like a career that he mentioned.

    Junior year fall 2012 I had him for CE 331: Civil Engineering Project Management which I am glad I did. Spring 2013 I had him for EGRS 261: Engineering Economics. I also started an independent study with him in spring 2013 which continued to my senior year fall 2013. At the time I had a career interest in construction firms like Turner Construction, Whiting-Turner and Clark Construction where I have interviewed and done externships. He was very helpful with it. Spring 2014 he went on sabbatical but he was still at Lafayette and I was able to interact with him at Lafayette. I also felt comfortable chatting with him about unrelated topics including somewhat personal topics.

    In summer of 2014 I took three girls in my town whom I knew personally who were still in high school to Lafayette on a college visit and we met with Prof. Veshosky, and they had nothing but positive memories to share during their brief meeting with the professor.

    Throughout my alumni years I continued to keep in touch with Prof. Veshosky and occasionally see him in person during my Lafayette visits. He continued to be my reference for jobs and graduate schools even to this day.

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