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Fall 2011 Table of Contents

Tough but Fair

SED’s Joseph Borozne set high standards for all of his students

| From Obituaries | By Cynthia K. Buccini

Professor Emeritus Joseph Borozne was a physical fitness instructor for the BU Police Department for many years. “He was a member of our family,” says Captain Robert Molloy.

Joseph Borozne expected the most from his students.

“He had high standards,” says Joan Dee, a School of Education associate dean. And while students liked and respected Borozne, who taught kinesiology at SED, they didn’t find his classes easy. “He wanted it done right,” Dee says.

Borozne (SED’52,’53,’57), a School of Education professor emeritus, died on April 19, 2011. He was 83.

Dee recalls Borozne as a quiet and generous colleague. If students didn’t have the money for books, he would help pay for them. “He was a good friend when you needed someone,” she says.

Among the other classes Borozne taught over the years were archery, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, swimming, lifesaving, scuba diving, soccer, volleyball, and wrestling.

Between classes, he would participate in the ballroom dance class, where he met and fell in love with Helen Costa, an Arthur Murray dance instructor, now retired from the BU Department of Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance. They never married, but remained lifelong partners.

Barbara Borden Morrissey (SAR’70) never had Borozne as a professor, but she can attest to his high expectations. “He helped me get a job teaching ballroom dancing as  work-study,” she recalls. “He always expected me to maintain very high grades, and believe me, he asked what they were. I knew him as a person who had very high standards, for himself and everyone else. He was fair, but tough.” 

Morrissey says she and Borozne remained close friends after she graduated. “He came to know my family, actually tutoring my daughter in kinesiology,” she says. “He will always have my love and respect.”

Borozne was also remembered fondly by members of the BU Police Department, where he was a physical fitness instructor for many years. Captain Robert Molloy says Borozne provided the officers and supervisors with nutrition advice and resistance, strength, and cardiovascular training.

“He was a great source of information for so many police officers over the years,” says Molloy, who remembers meeting Borozne when he joined the force in 1987. “I was 210 pounds. I thought I was in good shape. He said, ‘I’ve got to get you on the scale.’ He kept me honest with my diet. I wish I had him around now.”

Molloy says Borozne was more than a friend to the department. “He was a member of our family.”

Borozne was born on July 20, 1927, in Central Falls, R.I. He served in the U.S. Marines and was an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Union in Boston. He earned a BS, an EdM, and an EdD, all from BU, and he worked at the University until his retirement, in 2005. He was a BU wrestling coach from 1953 to 1954. From 1954 to 1970, he had a joint appointment in the School of Education and the physical education department, and from 1970 to 1994, he was coordinator of the corrective therapy program at SED.

Borozne was also a generous supporter of BU, which he considered home. The University paid tribute to his generosity by dedicating a small park in his honor, in front of SED. After his retirement, he enjoyed spending time in the park, meeting and chatting with students.

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On 23 December 2011 at 12:11 PM, Dr. John Christoforo (SED'81) wrote:

As an undergraduate at Boston State College, I met Joe Borozne at the YMCA when I entered swimming competition. He taught me how to compete as a swimmer, and we became fast friends. Years later, as I frequented a Boston night club that featured Latin American dancing, I renewed my friendship with Joe as he and Helen danced the mambo, cha cha cha and merangue with the best of them. When I decided to return to school to persue a doctoral degree, I again communicated with Joe, He became a mentor and helped me over the hurdles as a beginning candidate. Upon graduation in 1981, I thanked him for his help and later ran across him as an educational consultant and a social friend. My sincerest condolences to Helen. I seem to have lost an old friend.

On 9 December 2011 at 12:44 PM, Daniel Levangie (SED'67) wrote:

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Borozne. It was my privilege to be one of his students from 1964 to 1968. He was a man of intelligence, class and wit. Some of my fondest memories are from the ballroom dance classes with Dr. Borozne and Helen Costa at the Hunntington St. YMCA. Rest in Peace Dr. Borozne. You live on in the memory of those who knew you.

On 7 November 2011 at 1:09 AM, Michael (CAS'81) wrote:

I took a few ballroom dance courses during my undergraduate years, and remember his coming to the class to help Helen Costa. He was such fun, a great instructor, and would mischievously bark at us: "Men lead. Women follow. There is no place for women's lib in ballroom dancing, ladies." I had no idea that he was such an accomplished, athletic guy. What a life! RIP.

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