Dr. Ed Baldrige Jr.

The College mourns the loss of Dr. Ed Baldrige Jr. Baldrige was a long-time history professor of the College. He received multiple teaching awards and was given an Alumni Achievement Award for service to the College by a non-alumnus.


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Bill Keller is the New Media Specialist at Muhlenberg College.
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32 Responses to Dr. Ed Baldrige Jr.

  1. Mike Bruckner says:

    Muhlenberg College has lost one of its giants. A great man, with a wonderful sense of humor, he touched so many lives during his many decades with the school. His tours of Gettysburg are memorable. My prayers and thoughts are with Georgia, Ed III and the rest of the Baldrige family.

  2. Wendy Cole says:

    Ed was a model educator and a patient, generous scholar. His humorous quips and helpful guidance shall long be remembered. He was a passionate, true representative of a liberal education. I am sad for his family. He was a force. My sincere condolences.

  3. Debbie Klinger says:

    I will miss seeing that smiling face walking through the Haas Rotunda and his visits to the Alumni Office. Ed, you always made us laugh, your sense of humor was one of a kind and you would brighten up every day. Ed was a wonderful man and will be deeply missed at our Alumni events and he added such joy. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  4. Steven R. Jarrett, M.D. '65 says:

    I loved his History of Western Civilization class. Although it was a requirement in my freshman year, under Dr. Baldrige it was a privilege. I will always remember his smiling face as he pedaled his bicycle to his classes.

  5. Meredith Sossman says:

    The last of our family’s cousins in that generation. It was wonderful having you at ‘Berg when I was a student. Rest in Peace.

  6. Cathy Ramella says:

    Anyone who knew Ed was aware of the fact that you could not spend more than one minute with him until he had you laughing out loud. He was so full of life and joy that you just couldn’t help but smile. His quick wit and “standard” jokes were hysterical. I was lucky to spend time with Ed both in the workplace and in the classroom. After his retirement, he would come to my desk with his 5 lb. bag of peppermints and ask me to please type a speech he was giving or to perform some other small task. No matter how many times I told him he didn’t have to bribe me to help him out he always had his bag of mints with him. He was a wonderful passionate teacher. I was lucky enough to go on one of his Gettysburg field trips and it was an amazing experience. He made history come alive. He imparted knowledge while making you laugh and truly enjoy learning. His knowledge of Muhlenberg College history was unsurpassed. We have lost a treasure. To Georgia and Ed’s family I would like to extend my deepest sympathy. Please know you are in the Ramella family’s thoughts and prayers. Ed you will be missed.

  7. Mike Stein '73 says:

    Dr. Baldridge was a delightful teacher and he made History of Western Civilization wonderful fun.

  8. Chris Borick says:

    I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to spend some time with Ed over my time at Muhlenberg. Although he retired right before I arrived at the College, Ed remained a presence in the campus community and I enjoyed any opportunity to see him. In particular he and Georgia were always wonderful hosts over at Luther Crest when I came to talk politics. Ed was a true gentleman and scholar and has left a great legacy with generations of students who remember his sharp mind and great sense of humor. He will be missed.

  9. Sam Laposata says:

    Ed was an exceptionally wonderful fellow. His attitude was always positive, and when he entered a room, all of our spirits would rise. He had a knack for creating and spreading joy. If I asked about his current state of affairs, he would divert attention from himself by saying with a twinkle in his eyes, “I’m at the top of my game.” No negativity from Ed, even as he aged. When I came to Muhlenberg in 1994, Ed was very kind to me and helped me make a transition back to academic life. I didn’t ask him, he just showed up to talk with me on many occasions, and my understanding of Muhlenberg College improved. I owe a lot to Ed Baldridge. I’ll miss you, Ed.

  10. Jennifer Duin says:

    Dr. Baldridge was a wonderful teacher. As my classes were spread out through the History department, I did not have him for a lot of classes, though today I wish I had made more of an effort to sign up for his classes. He was just an all-around great teacher and always had a great attitude when he came into the class. No matter where you saw him, he always had a smile on his face.

    Thank you, Dr. Baldridge, for being one of my teachers. God’s peace upon you.

  11. Warren Ventriglia, MD says:

    To current, former, and future Muhlenberg Students/Supporters:

    I was a Natural Sciences major at Muhlenberg, Class of 1977. A history/social sciences requirement was not at the top of my academic preference at that time. I didn’t get it. But, after many years, I know understand how much an “education” means (I am now 58+, very old by current standards – remember “don’t trust any one over 30?”).

    Dr Baldrige’s American History was amusing and educational – He was sneaky good to engage (as with his historical contexts, perhaps to conquer?) my mind as a young and unenlightened student of science. I recall his animated and sometimes zany lectures which took me away to the times and places of his choice, to make history relevant. (After all, I had chem/biochem/micro/zoo/etc., to attend to).

    Attending his classes, we went with Dr Baldrige to interesting, sometimes troubling, and yet fascinating destinations. A great lecturer (and sometimes, often an actor).

    Oddly, whenever I see Burgess Meredith on an old Twilight Zone episode, I think of Dr Baldrige – I mean that in the most highly regarded way. And, although Dr Baldrige was happy to meander through the ‘Berg campus for many years after his retirement, please look up and view the Twilight Zone episode “Long Live Walter Jameson” regarding the impact of a single professor upon his students.

    Dr Baldrige had a most positive effect upon my education, and I thank the College to require that all Muhlenberg students first and foremost receive an “education.”

    I am thankful for my Muhlenberg College’s Liberal Arts requirements, and also very thankful to remember Dr Baldrige, Professor of History. And may he stroll/ride around the campus, at his historical will.

    Thank you, Dr Baldrige, and Best Regards to Your Family.

    Warren J Ventriglia, MD, Class of 1977

  12. His life was a blessing. His teaching style was wild elation. And the grades he gave me—flat-out the highest I earned as a freshman—were (we can be honest at the distance of forty years) . . . a gift. That’s how I shall always remember him in joy and with gratitude: for his magnificent gifts, freely given. Ed Baldrige was one of two or three men who taught me at Muhlenberg whose lessons imparted real meaning and purpose to my life in public service. He made it a point, rare even in liberal arts colleges, to follow his students in their professional pursuits. In these days of grief, many of us will recall his humor and the grinning anticipation with which we prepared for his classes. But let’s also remember, as the “long twilight” of his last days gave up this great soul, just what a penetrating intellect he had and how he culled the very best in us during three decades of teaching. The Academy is such a different place from what it was when Ed arrived at ‘Berg in fall 1957 . . . the same semester that women arrived. At my freshman orientation in August 1972 he stood up representing the faculty with the very first words we heard, booming out “Welcome, Class of 1976, whose twenty-fifth reunion will be in the year 2001!” You had to be there in the Garden Room to understand how preposterously funny that future-cast seemed then. As it’s all gone by so fast and as we’ve now lost Ed Baldrige, we laugh as we mourn, we reflect as we celebrate a life of sublime passion, understanding, and deep love. The Dartmouth men have just opened the bar in heaven. Right now there’s a round-faced guy talking animatedly with his hands, assuring them that when he was in the Army in Korea, he really could light a cigarette with a flamethrower at a distance of forty yards. He will be missed. May God bless his sacred memory.

  13. Randy Helm says:

    A College is lucky to have a professor like Ed Baldrige once in its history. We were privileged to share this time with him. Ed was a gentleman, a scholar, a mentor, and a friend. I will miss him.

  14. Chuck Genna says:

    I will never forget how warmly Ed greeted me in my first days serving in the Public Relations Office at the college. He invited me to lunch in the Faculty Club, an organization he headed….and even bought me lunch. His recommendation was the ever-popular Dave Seamans Special, a Swain basement favorite. From those days in the ’70s through out last encounter at a Mule basketball game a year ago Ed always put a smile on my face.

  15. Alyssa Picard says:

    I was a history major at Muhlenberg (’95) and Ed Baldrige was my advisor. I have to smile remembering the puckish routine he enacted in “American Revolution to 1815″ whenever someone failed to show up to class to pick up a graded exam. “Cochran,” he would call out. “Cochran! Cochran?” Looking around and not seeing Cochran, he’d sigh: “Ah, well” and–tossing the graded exam over his shoulder, where it would hit the blackboard and slide to the floor–”Stay up all night, knock yourself out, they don’t show up to class.” He conveyed so strongly that he enjoyed his work and our company–I loved being his student.

  16. Ed Bonekemper '64 says:

    Ed Baldrige was my teacher, critic, humorist, mentor, historian, manuscript reviewer, catalyst, and, best of all, my friend. But I am not alone. He was all or much of this to thousands of Muhlenberg grads. That’s why “Mr. Muhlenberg” was for decades the best drawing card for Alumni Office events all over the country.

    No one can think of him without immediately smiling at the memory of his humorous banter and wise-cracks. Ed had his serious side, but he never took himself too seriously. He taught by example and through interest-grabbing techniques that few ever master.

    Most of all, Ed was a kind and gentle soul — a friend to all. His pro bono teaching in his “retirement” years, his Meals-on -Wheels activities, all his church work, and a thousand other things he did for others revealed his true Christian nature. He will be missed by more Muhlenbergers than virtually anyone in the College’s history.

    Susan and I send our heartfelt sympathy to his loving wife Georgia, his three sons of whom he was so proud, and all of the family so reflective of Ed’s spirit and character.

  17. Melanie R Mason, '83 says:

    Dr. Baldridge was one in a million who touched so many lives in so many ways. While I never had him as a professor, I got to know him through many Admissions events as he was the ultimate ambassador for Muhlenberg. His passion for all things Muhlenberg was rivaled only by his passion for all things Green and Dartmouth, his alma mater. He spread joy wherever he went. Muhlenberg is a better place for having known and loved Ed Baldridge. May god bless you and your family always.

  18. Dennis Williams says:

    Wow, What a man. He will be sorely missed. As a History and Seconday Education major I had the opportunity to take multiple classes with Dr. B and watch how passionate he was about subject matter and how easily he developed rapport with his students. He was always involved outside of the classroom as well. I remember him telling me the next class after a football game what I should have done differently and then lining up in his football stance to show me LOL …. what a character. The ‘Berg lost a gem; however, his legacy will clearly live on. RIP Dr. B!!

  19. Rich Romeo '79 says:

    Ed Baldrige was a Muhlenberg icon. A great professor, with a fantastic sense of humor and a boundless love for Muhlenberg. While I must confess that I do not remember the particulars of any of Ed’s jokes, I remember him telling jokes all the time, and I remember him having us in stitches. When it came to jokes, he was like the Energizer Bunny, just non-stop. When we think of things that made Muhlenberg memorable to us, and make Muhlenberg attractive to new prospective students, we think of professors like Ed Baldrige. I can just picture Ed now, off in some corner in heaven, telling jokes to some other great Muhlenberg Legends who have left us—Coach Frank Marino, Jim Vaughn, Karl Peckman, Ted Lithgow and Tom Mendham, just to name a recent few. RIP Ed and thanks for all that you have done for Muhlenberg. Rich Romeo ‘79

  20. Betsy C. MacCarthy '74 says:

    Ed Baldrige was the first faculty member I met at Muhlenberg – when I arrived for freshman advising and selecting my first semester classes in the Garden Room in 1970. Although I never had the good fortune to take one of his classes, I considered myself privileged to call him a colleague and friend during my years as a staff member in the early 1980s. The world is a little less bright today. My prayers are with Georgia, their family, and the Muhlenberg community.

  21. Lance Richard Bruck, MD; Class of 89; Trustee says:

    Dr. Baldridge embodied all of the traits of an outstanding educator. Generations of Muhlenberg students have been blessed to have shared a classroom with such an inspirational mentor. I will never forget Dr. Baldridge playing “When The Saints Go Marching In” on an antique record player while singing and marching around the classroom during an American History lesson. Truly one of the iconic teachers in the history of the college.

  22. Evan Trubee says:

    Dr. Baldrige was a fabulous professor. I took as many courses as I could with him. He is a huge reason why I loved my Muhlenberg experience. His passion and humor were hallmarks.

  23. Pam Thomas Parker '94 says:

    The passing of a campus icon.

    I am possibly the only history major of my generation to pass through the department and never have him as a professor. I am still not sure how I managed that!

    I do have fond memories of him on campus, in the department, and from life lifeguarding the faculty swim hours he frequented.

    He will always be fondly remembered.

  24. Scott Behren says:

    Some of my best memories at the Berg were with him. He will always be in my memories.

  25. Jeff Zeigler '89 says:

    A tremendous loss to the Muhlenberg community. Dr. Baldrige was one of a kind and will be sincerely missed. One of my favorite memories was the Gettysburg field trip when he instigated a snowball fight between our class and a random group of other students. I still crack a smile every time I recall him shouting out flanking orders or calling for concentrated fire while hiding behind the school van!

    I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to have him as a professor. Rest in peace Dr. Baldrige and thank you for all you have done for the students and Muhlenberg over the years.

  26. Walter P. Krauss, '64 says:

    Dr. Baldrige was one of the professors I had the privilege to learn from. His wit, wisdom, and profound knowledge of history was an inspiration to me. I always enjoyed going to his class. My sincere condolences to his family.

  27. Michael Carbone says:

    Some of my fondest early memories of Muhlenberg are of meeting Ed Baldridge then History Department chair. As a young new faculty member I so appreciated Ed’s welcoming smile , warm personality and great sense of humor. Muhlenberg seemed rather stuffy to me in those early years and Ed was such a lively person. Over the years I grew to appreciate his intelligence, leadership and friendship. I know that many many students enjoyed his classes and guidance. Everything Ed did he did with his own personal stamp. I could always count on him to exhibit careful consideration and wonderful humor. I have come to value both of these gifts of his over the years. He shall be missed. My thoughts go out to his children and especially to his wonderful wife Georgia.

  28. Dick Jacobs '63 says:

    Ed Baldridge was one of a kind. He is a tremendous loss not only to the College, but to everyone who knew him. To say that he was my favorite professor is a huge understatement. His sense of humor and kindness has been experienced by thousands of alumni. My prayers go to all of his family. However, we can all say goodby to a life lived to the maximum.

  29. Scott D. Nowack says:

    Dr. Baldrige was a one of a kind, a diamond in the rough. He used his good sense of humor and quick wit to keep you on your toes in and out of class. His storytelling skills were second to none. He made learning history fun, especially military history. He had an undeniable passion for history and the students he taught. He was more concerned about his students welfare than the “politics” of the college administration. He was lively, animated, and engaging whether in a small classroom or the lecture hall. Dr. Baldrige was my favorite professor at Muhlenberg and the one I had the chance to know outside the classroom. The world will not be the same without him.

  30. Liz Fitzsimmons '91 says:

    Dr. Baldridge was an icon of the History Department. My memories of him are as vivid as if I had him as a professor yesterday. I remember him doing some of the things that other people wrote about, such as playing When The Saints Come Marching In on a record player and marching around the classroom, or having snowball fights on field trips. But, it was his love and enthusiasm for history that will stick with me forever. His joy as he shouted out “You were there!” each time he told us about an event or a date. He was simply the best and will be missed. I have a heavy heart today, but find joy and gratitude that I was able to learn from Dr. Baldridge. My sympathies to The Baldridge family and the Muhlenberg family as well.

  31. Ken Bahrt '75 says:

    It was with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of Ed Baldrige. I was a biology major back in the early 1970’s and had the great honor to be taught and mentored by some of the finest professors in the history of the College. Jim Vaughn, John Trainer, Carl Oplinger, John Weston, and Russ Smart, all played a key role in helping me achieve my dream of becoming a physician. I even had the opportunity to interact with Doc Shankweiler on his many visits to the campus and to the building that bears his name. But when my son, who is now a biology major at Muhlenberg Class of 2016, asked me what was the best college course I even took, without hesitation, I answered Ed Baldrige’s American History. His unique blend of fact and humor made the subject come alive in a way I had never experienced before. However, what I remember most about Ed is how much he cared for his students, even “lab rats” like myself. One incident that occurred well after I took his course illustrates this. This occurred during a time when I was wrestling with a decision that could affect which direction my career could take and I guess I was letting it really get me down. I was walking by his office and he called out; “ You lost Bahrt? Science buildings are at the other end of campus. Get in here” I could see his desk was piled high with exam books and that he was really busy. But he said he noticed that I didn’t seem myself lately and wondered what was bothering me. We talked for well over an hour and with his humor coupled with his down to earth wisdom, he helped me see my path forward so clearly. He didn’t have to do this, but he did and he never once made it seem like I was imposing on his time. He truly cared. That’s what made him a great professor and mentor, but more importantly, a great human being. He will be sorely missed.

  32. Priscilla Howard says:

    We have lost a dear, kind, giving man who always made me smile and feel fortunate to know him. Ed was on the search committee in 1988 when I first started at Muhlenberg as Director of Academic Support Services. I appreciated his support, as he continued to do, and we became friends. He subsequently became one of the charter members of the Advisory Board for Students with Disabilities and worked his magic with special needs students. He was an encylopedia of historical information, and when I asked him to help research the history of adult education at Muhlenberg for our 100th Anniversary, he willingly jumped in and spent many hours in the library. With that twinkle in his eyes and with his wonderful wife, Georgia, he brightened this world. My sincere sympathy goes out to his family. He was one of a kind.