Jason Bakos was always impressed with his father, Jack, who served for nearly four decades years as a professor of engineering at YSU. But it wasn’t until son became a university faculty member himself that he began to fully understand how impressive dad really was.
“For years here at YSU, he taught the introduction to engineering course,” recalled Jason Bakos, now an associate professor of computer science and engineering at the University of South Carolina. “He influenced thousands and thousands of students through that course, and that is reflective of his entire career.”
Jason was among the speakers at a ceremony earlier this fall to dedicate the newly renovated “Fishbowl” student lounge on the first floor of Moser Hall in honor of Bakos, who passed away a year ago at the age of 71.
Bakos’ widow, Patsy, provided a gift of $75,000 to renovate the lounge, in addition to $75,000 to establish the Dr. Jack Bakos Jr. Memorial Scholarship Endowment.
“It is appropriate that this lounge, where for years engineering students have gathered to study and visit, be named after someone whose career and life was so dedicated to his discipline, to his university and to his students,” YSU President Randy J. Dunn said.
Family, friends and colleagues filled the lobby of Moser Hall for the dedication ceremony.
“He had a way of making his classes memorable,” said William Barsch, retired chair of Engineering Technology. “He talked about civil engineering in a way that made you want to go into civil engineering.”
Patricia Heinrichs, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at YSU, said she thinks she took every class that Bakos taught. “He expected a lot, but you also didn’t want to let him down,” said Heinrichs, now a senior materials engineer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.