Munson announces last year of teaching at UD

AAUP-Mentors Circle (Reporter's Request)
Xander Opiyo/THE REVIEW
Burnaby Munson, who served as a professor in the chemistry department for 49 years and played a major role in the creation of the Honors Program, will retire at the end of this academic year.


Burnaby Munson, a professor of the chemistry department for 49 years, will be retiring at the end of the academic year. Munson has been a valued member of the university community since he began his career at Delaware in 1967.

He was a major factor in the creation of the Honors Program, and served as director of the program.

Though Munson is no longer as involved in the activities of the chemistry department and the Honors Program as he once was, he still teaches a variety of classes.

Munson said he has been “threatening to retire for ten years, ” but now, due to his age, it has become more difficult to keep up with the demands of the job.

“I’ve enjoyed it, but I’m wearing out,” Munson said. “I suspect it’s time I left.”

From his perspective, the university has changed considerably from the time he started to now.

“It’s grown tremendously, and there’s more of an emphasis on research,” Munson said.

He added that interacting with students has been the most cherished part of his professorship at the university. Munson said he has kept in touch with several students over the years, and he has even had the opportunity to teach the children or relatives of former students.

In terms of retirement, Munson said he primarily plans to relax in his leisure time.

As a Texas native, Munson said he may travel back to his home state to visit friends and has not ruled out the possibility of moving back to the Lone Star State.

Munson’s legacy will live on at the university via the peer mentors who live with honors freshmen in Redding Hall, known as “Munson Fellows.” The upperclassman fellows serve to plan events and give advice, particularly academic, to the students.

In addition, Munson said he hopes the traditions he has supported at Delaware will live on. This includes his Wednesday night study breaks in Redding Hall, when Munson provides gummy bears, hot peppers and junk food to hardworking students looking for a reprieve from their studies.

“They don’t really need me,” he said of students, though he added that the impact he has had on the students at Delaware leaves him satisfied.

“I’m pleased, I think that’s the main thing,” Munson said. “Pleased and proud.”

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