LV Life Editor
Just about everyone who has set foot on the University of La Verne campus in the past 24 years knows – or has at least heard of – Eric Bishop.
Unfortunately for the University, today will be Bishop’s final day as the associate dean of academic support and retention-matriculation services at La Verne.
Bishop will begin work on Monday as the director of the Chaffey College Fontana Campus.
“It’s great for Eric, but bad for us,” Gary Colby, professor of photography, said.
“He will be truly missed,” Colby added.
Bishop has been at La Verne for the past 21 out of 24 years as either a student or faculty member. Half of his entire life has been spent on the University of La Verne campus.
Bishop graduated from the University of La Verne in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Bishop was hired that summer as the communications assistant in the journalism program.
He maintained the position for about two years while working on his master’s degree in communications from ULV, but left in 1991 to pursue other opportunities.
Bishop could not stay away from La Verne very long and returned to work in the library and assist in coaching the women’s basketball team.
In 1994 he was hired as a full-time faculty member as assistant professor of journalism and was the Campus Times adviser for seven years.
During that time, Bishop achieved one of his goals when the Campus Times received an All-American recognition from the Associated Collegiate Press.
“I like what La Verne represents,” Bishop said.
In 2001 Bishop became director of academic advising and student retention and was later promoted to associate dean of academic support and retention-matriculation service.
Bishop became so much more than that to students, parents, faculty and alumni by providing guidance, support, a helping hand and sometimes just a listening ear.
“Most people would describe him as a teddy bear, but I would describe him as a father figure,” said Jonathan Fitzhugh, a senior accounting major and president of the Associated Students of the University of La Verne.
Whatever problem, question or concern students were faced with, Bishop was always willing to help and would not give up until it was settled.
Going to a four-year university is not an easy task and whenever students hit a bump in the road or fell in a slump, Bishop was always one person they could count on to help them get back on their feet.
The best thing about it was that he did it with a smile.
“I’m going to miss those big, make it all better Eric Bishop hugs,” said Chanel Kaufman, junior economics and spanish major.
Bishop has also served as a role model for some of the students.
“Being an African-American male, it’s encouraging and uplifting to see another African-American male carrying himself in such a positive way,” Fitzhugh said.
Although the University of La Verne will be loosing a valued faculty member and friend, Bishop will be pursuing his own goal of ultimately becoming a college president or provost.
“It is an opportunity for growth and expansion,” Bishop said.
“I’m sad he is leaving but it will be a good step in his career,” Shane Rodrigues, radio-TV operations manager, said.
“I hope I can make an impact there similar to what people say I have done here,” Bishop said.
What Bishop will miss most about La Verne is the students and the diversity that they have to offer.
The move will not only affect many at ULV but will also have a more personal impact.
“In no way form or fashion do I think this move is going to be easy,” Bishop said.
On Tuesday more than 75 students turned out at a dessert reception, sponsored by ASULV, where they had an opportunity to share stories, memories and to say goodbye to Bishop.
“I think we had a good turnout,” Fitzhugh said.
Bishop may no longer be a University of La Verne faculty member but he still is an alumnus, so plan on seeing him around.
Madison Steff can be reached at email@example.com.