Terry Singer - In Person
President. Provost, vice president, dean, professor, manager, director.
As much as these titles describe and apply to the work that happens at the University of Louisville, they don’t get to the essence of what makes UofL unique — its people.
Once or twice a month, UofL Today profiles people who help to make the university what it is.
Name: Terry L. Singer
UofL title and department: Dean, Kent School of Social Work
At UofL since: 1997
Hometown: I grew up in Tyrone, Pa., but now proudly consider Louisville my hometown.
First job and what I learned from it: My first job was as a lifeguard. I learned that a job that entails serious responsibility every-other half hour, while lifting weights and getting a suntan the other half hour, combined with a loud whistle is about as good as it gets. It was all downhill from there.
The thing I like most about what I do: I love it when students, as they walk across the stage to get their diplomas, tell me about their exciting job opportunities that are taking them completely in a different direction from interests they expressed when entering school. That is what education is supposed to do - open one up to undreamed possibilities.
I am: a husband and father, my two proudest roles.
I never: take life for granted, or at least, I try not to. It goes by very quickly.
Guilty pleasure: Other than time with my wife, Nancy, at the Outer Banks of North Carolina, my favorite thing is sipping bourbon on my back porch while jamming with my two sons, Josh and Zac. Their good guitar and bass playing covers up my many mistakes, but not even the bourbon can make my voice sound any better. I am afraid I don’t come by my last name very honestly.
Favorite book: There are too many to list, but for beach reading, I have read all of Perri O’Shaughnessy’s books.
Favorite TV show: I like “NCSI” (and many of the similar crime shows), “The Good Wife” and “Modern Family”
In the car I listen to: NPR or oldies (what else!!)
Favorite quote: “There’s more to people than the worst thing they’ve ever done in their lives” (Sr. Helen Prejean). This helps me work with human frailty, including my own, with forgiveness and an open mind.
These animals share my world: Otis (our “Snoopy” dog); Pudgy (Nancy’s cat — what can I say!); and Chloe (our granddog — my kids’ shared dog)
My day begins: with a workout at 6:30 a.m. for an hour and a half, cool down with e-mail, then breakfast.
I wish I had more time to: discover what I would do with more time.
When I’m not cheering for the Cards, I’m cheering for: my alma maters — Penn State and Pitt — and the Steelers.
Most Friday nights you’ll find me: at a sporting event, the theater or in front of my television.
If my life were a movie: it would explain why I look so heavy. The camera always adds extra pounds, you know.
Anything else you’d like the UofL community to know: When I am at national professional meetings, I get kidded about being a dean in social work education longer than any other sitting dean — almost 27 years now. I often am asked about waiting for the university to offer me a golden watch or an official UofL rocking chair. I am open to any good retorts that the university community could suggest. (Editor’s Note: Singer is the longest-serving current dean at UofL.)