Daniel Bosket, April 19, 2021

Dublin Core

Title

Daniel Bosket, April 19, 2021

Subject

African American college students

Description

Daniel Bosket, Class of 1975, an Allentown native, attributes his experiences and education in the liberal arts as a key determinant to his success as a businessman and as a community advocate in the arts, education and civic affairs.

Date

2021-04-19

Format

video

Identifier

MCA_02

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Susan Falciani Maldonado
Hailey Petrus
Samantha Brenner

Interviewee

Daniel Bosket

Duration

00:41:26

OHMS Object Text

5.4 April 19th, 2021 Daniel Bosket, April 19, 2021 MCA_02 00:41:26 MCA-D History of Diversity and Inclusion at Muhlenberg College Muhlenberg College: Trexler Library Oral History Repository African American college students Daniel Bosket Susan Falciani Maldonado Hailey Petrus Samantha Brenner video/mp4 BosketDan_20210419_video_trimmed.mp4 1:|21(6)|44(11)|58(11)|73(11)|88(12)|100(14)|112(2)|125(10)|137(14)|151(5)|164(13)|178(1)|191(7)|201(1)|214(10)|229(1)|242(3)|254(7)|265(12)|278(1)|290(1)|303(6)|315(10)|327(1)|340(3)|353(7)|367(12)|380(9)|395(10)|407(9)|419(10)|432(2)|445(1)|454(10)|466(3)|477(5)|490(7)|503(11)|517(7)|534(12)|550(10) 0 https://youtu.be/NwmbD5fbf9I YouTube video English 0 Interview Introduction DB: Daniel C. Bosket, D-A-N-I-E-L, last name, B-O-S-K-E-T. 105 Path Toward Muhlenberg and Early Life Influences SB: So to start the questions, I’d like to turn to your early life and ask how you became interested and sought out the college experience. Who are your major influences and how did you know you wanted to attend Muhlenberg? DB: Well, quite frankly, I think the process starts when you're in like middle school or high school. At the time that I was in public school and the-- I'm a graduate of the Allentown School District, Dieruff High School. 433 Experiences at Muhlenberg &amp ; Extracurriculars HP: Describe for me what it was like entering Muhlenberg, and what ways were you involved in social and curricular activities? And what are some of the more memorable moments during your years at Muhlenberg? DB: Well, it's interesting that when I got to Muhlenberg, I found that-- I found out that I was like probably-- I mean there was a lot of local students, when I say local I mean Lehigh Valley students, going to Muhlenberg. 932 Regrets about the College Experience SB: Thank you. And I guess for bringing us back to contemporary times, is there anything that you would have done differently if you could start over? Do you have any regrets about your college experience? DB: I don't-- I don't have any regrets. Well, the only regret I have and it's really kind of personal, kind of a little selfish, so to speak, is that, you know, once I got-- once I got out of college and was involved in my professional life, you know, most of the people that I was working with or were doing business with, they both-- they all play tennis and golf. 1003 Being a First Generation College Student The only thing that I would have done differently had I known is that, you know, given-- being the first generation college student and not knowing what the possible career paths were. Once I decided, you know, that I wasn't going to, you know, stay on the pre-med track, I was going to switch over to economics with a minor in accounting. 1253 Black Students Association HP: Earlier, you mentioned that you were part of the Black Students Association while you were here, so I just wanted to know if there was anything that you guys proposed to like administration, or anything you guys tried to change while you were here and like kind of how that process went or with any groups or students of color here at Muhlenberg. DB: I guess at that time we really didn't really propose anything. They actually did give us a physical room, if you will, that we could call our own, that we could store our own stuff in, our files and stuff like that, and where we could kind of congregate and meet, kind of like a lounge. 1344 Giving Back to the Lehigh Valley Community In terms of, you know, what experience changed the trajectory of my life, I think in general, the college experience kind of-- it's a-- it's a liberal arts background that you're getting. So, you know, we had to take courses in, like art, art history, theory, psychology, Ss it kind of well-- I don't want to say it makes you a well-rounded person, but it gives you a wider breadth of educational learning, if you will. 1601 Connections with Muhlenberg I did serve on the Muhlenberg-- I think it's called the Board of Associates. So I did serve on the Muhlenberg Board of Associates for a number of years. I believe probably Susan and Kate… everybody knows Mike Bruckner 1692 Professors at Muhlenberg SB: I guess looking back, are there any classes that you took at Muhlenberg that stood out to you that you really loved taking? And can you talk a little bit about your relationship with your professors and other faculty members? DB: So even though I wasn't a political science major, I mean, I really liked a political science course at the time because, again, that wasn't my major. I was a business major, I was majoring in economics and accounting. 1843 Hopes for the Future at Muhlenberg HP: I know that you talked about that like, your class wasn't as political, more social. But is there anything that you would want to see for future students of color at Muhlenberg? In any aspect, whether it be career-wise, class-wise, politically-wise, socially? DB: Well, I think that-- I think that-- I would hope for students of color similar to what we're trying to do kind of at the high school level, is more course availability on things that are, that are cultural-related to their own culture, whether it's, you know, African-American students, Latinx students, Native American students, Asian students, just more course, you know-- it doesn't have to be one course that's just about that particular culture or ethnic group, but something more-- something that builds what we call cultural competency in terms of how-- because right now you're in an international world. 2238 The Impact of Janice Williams '71 I have one question that's kind of a-- in the course of our research, and it seemed like you might be somebody who might know this individual-- Are you familiar or have you ever worked with a lady by the name of Janice Williams? DB: I know Janice Williams well. She was one of the probably-- one of the individuals that I could say helped me. Janice Williams at some point-- Janice Williams at some point, she was on the Allentown School Board. 2435 Closing Remarks DB: Well, I just want to thank you for contacting me. I'm always willing to help when there's like a volunteer project going because the thing I've learned as being part of the director for a nonprofit, volunteers are your most valuable resource. MovingImage Daniel Bosket, Class of 1975, an Allentown native, attributes his experiences and education in the liberal arts as a key determinant to his success as a businessman and as a community advocate in the arts, education and civic affairs. HAILEY PETRUS: So my name is Hailey Petrus, and I&#039 ; m here with Dan Bosket to talk about his experiences at Muhlenberg College. Our goal is to collect oral histories of people&#039 ; s unique experiences during their years as a student to preserve the information for future generations to access. The oral histories are an integral part of our course, The History of Diversity and Inclusion at Muhlenberg College. We are meeting on Zoom on April 19th, 2021. SAMANTHA BRENNER: Thank you so much for your willingness to speak with us today. To start, can you please state your full name and spell it for me? DAN BOSKET: Daniel C. Bosket, D-A-N-I-E-L, last name, B-O-S-K-E-T. SB: Thank you. Will you please share the year that you graduated from Muhlenberg? DB: 1975. SB: Thank you. And do you consent to this interview today? DB: Yes, I do. SB: Do you consent to having this interview transcribed, digitized and made publicly available online in searchable format? DB: Yes, I do. As soon as I receive the check. SB: {Laughs] Do you consent to having this interview be stored in the archives of Muhlenberg college? DB: Yes, I do. HP: Do you consent to Muhlenberg College and researchers using your interview for educational purposes in other formats, including films, articles, websites and presentations? DB: Ah Yes. HP: And do you understand that you are not receiving any monetary compensation for your time today and you are not required to participate by Muhlenberg College? DB: Really? OK. Yeah, I think I pretty much got that. SB: So to start the questions, I&#039 ; d like to turn to your early life and ask how you became interested and sought out the college experience. Who are your major influences and how did you know you wanted to attend Muhlenberg? DB: Well, quite frankly, I think the process starts when you&#039 ; re in like middle school or high school. At the time that I was in public school and the-- I&#039 ; m a graduate of the Allentown School District, Dieruff High School. But you had a couple educational tracts that you could be on. So I was on the college prep track at the time, not sure what they call it these days, but I was pretty prepared for college. So I was taking the highest level math and science that was being offered at the time. My intent was to become a doctor. I like the, you know, the aspect of the medical field. Although no one in my immediate family had gone to college before. No one was a doctor. No one was involved in the medical profession. But I always had a vision myself to becoming a doctor. Of course, being a first generation college student, I didn&#039 ; t actually find out what that required til I got to college, meaning that you had to do your four years of undergraduate. Then you needed to go to medical school. Then you needed to do an internship. And then finally, at some point, you&#039 ; d actually be earning a living as a doctor. Since I was the oldest of six children in my household and my brothers and sisters were-- my parents were planning for them to go to college as well. When my father was self-employed in his own business at the time, it didn&#039 ; t appear that they were going to be-- financially be able to support me through that entire track. And I hadn&#039 ; t envisioned that, you know, getting like scholarships and loans to go through a whole ten year process of education. So after organic chemistry, which is a real struggle for me-- back in those days, the students would walk around with notecards and all, the organic chemical formulas written on and then test each other at lunchtime. It&#039 ; s probably advanced since then, but that&#039 ; s my stern memory of how that process worked. I decided that since I was actually pretty good with numbers and math and I liked accounting, I switched to the-- they didn&#039 ; t have a like an accounting major at the time, they had an economics major with an accounting minor. So I switched over to economics with a minor in accounting, knowing that I could graduate with that four year degree and actually get employed right away to make room for my parents to be able to support, you know, my brothers and sisters going to college, all of which did, except for one. I had two brothers that went to Penn State. And my sister actually went to-- went to Muhlenberg at night school, actually. So those were my early influences. As far as being able or thinking about going to college, in addition to my best friend was our minister&#039 ; s son. You know we have a pretty strong faith-based background. And so I grew up going to church every Sunday. I actually played the piano for Sunday school. My father was this Sunday school superintendent and my best friend at church was the minister&#039 ; s son. And he was on going to Harvard, which was, you know, some ways away. I wasn&#039 ; t really interested in traveling that far. I knew that Muhlenberg had a very good reputation as a local school, and I planned, you know, on living at home, going to school to keep the costs down for my parents. So that&#039 ; s how I ended up picking Muhlenberg. Cedar Crest, as you know, was all female at the time and I believe still is, so that wasn&#039 ; t an option. Lafayette was down in Easton, which means I&#039 ; d have to drive and Lehigh was always advertised or marketed as an engineering school. I wasn&#039 ; t going to be an engineer. So Muhlenberg to me appeared to be the best choice. And so I applied, got in, and I was ready to go. So again, my major influences, in addition to our ministers, I did know some other professionals in the area that my father was a barber. And so as a barber, you-- you meet all kinds of people from all walks of life. So he knew lots of professionals that he would introduce me to that would talk to me about going to college, you know, makes your future brighter. You know, the normal-- the normal spiel you give to somebody who&#039 ; s like 14, 15, 16 years old. And so that&#039 ; s pretty much this. In addition to that, I guess there was also a sports aspect to the whole recruiting thing. I wrestled in high school and the Muhlenberg wrestling coach was recruiting me as well. I guess the sports coaches get some intel on incoming-- incoming potential freshmen and know what their backgrounds were like, so I was being recruited by the wrestling coach as well, though it wasn&#039 ; t-- you know, there was no financial aid being offered to participate in sports. But, you know, it would-- gave me the opportunity to look forward to actually participating in something I enjoyed. And so it, you know, kinda worked out. HP: Describe for me what it was like entering Muhlenberg, and what ways were you involved in social and curricular activities? And what are some of the more memorable moments during your years at Muhlenberg? DB: Well, it&#039 ; s interesting that when I got to Muhlenberg, I found that-- I found out that I was like probably-- I mean there was a lot of local students, when I say local I mean Lehigh Valley students, going to Muhlenberg. But I&#039 ; m pretty sure I was the only local student of color that pretty much all of them at that time. I think Muhlenberg&#039 ; s strategy for recruiting, quote, minority students was to go to like Philadelphia and New York. So pretty much all the students of color that were there besides me were from either Philadelphia and New York and there was a couple students from Baltimore. And so-- these are all larger cities, much larger than the Lehigh Valley. If you remember back to the 1970s-- or was Allentown in terms of, you know, what&#039 ; s available in Allentown in terms of recreation and things to do was a lot-- there was a lot less available. I just had lunch today with someone who is a retired educator from Lafayette and I was pointing out to them that when I went to Muhlenberg, we would on a regular basis go to like the Lehigh and Lafayette campuses to social events that they were having because there were a lot more students of color on those campuses than there was at Muhlenberg. And so I found out that Muhlenberg was basically recruiting students of color from the larger cities and then those students, of course, would get here and say that there was nothing to do. So those students would basically almost go home like every weekend. I mean, the students from New York and Philadelphia would go home every weekend. The students from Baltimore were-- since Baltimore, I think was the furtherest of the three, they were there-- they went home, you know, the least because of the distance, I believe. And so I found out that, you know, I got a chance to get exposed to what they were, quote, &quot ; missing in the big city&quot ; now that they were at Muhlenberg, even though it turns out that one of my best friends end up being from New York City. In fact, he was the best man at my wedding. And then I also realized that they&#039 ; re-- some of the male students that Muhlenberg was recruiting. There are also sports-- that had sports related backgrounds as well. A couple of them played football and there might have been one or two basketball, but mostly individuals that they recruited to play football. And so I found out that, you know, culturally, I mean, it was good for me because I was meeting students of color from the bigger cities, find out what&#039 ; s going on. I grew up in the Lehigh Valley, so they considered me to be, quote, like &quot ; a townie&quot ; since I was local. And so my first couple years at Muhlenberg, since I was still local and I was still kind of hanging out with my friends that I knew, like from high school because, you know, some of them were still around, still available. But then as I-- as I moved further into hanging out and socializing with the students on campus, not just students of color, but students from all over, then I wanted to actually move onto campus. So my last two years, I moved onto campus in Martin Luther or East Hall--forget what it&#039 ; s called now-- but that-- it&#039 ; s been expanded since I was there, so it&#039 ; s a lot bigger, longer since I was there. And of course the sports facilities have been tremendously expanded since I was there. And then you have the theater and life centers and all those, so there&#039 ; s a lot more physical building and resources on the campus than when I actually went there. So I would-- so I did get involved. We had like a black student union that basically, you know, we would organize events, you know, for ourselves, basically, that it wasn&#039 ; t-- we didn&#039 ; t discriminate, so anybody who wanted to come to come. But we were basically, you know, socializing in a sense that we were playing like our music, talking about, you know, our-- you know, movie stars of color, our TV shows of color. And so I found out that, you know, the --over time, the students from the larger cities kind of got accustomed to the Lehigh Valley. It was somewhat bearable to them, but they were there to get like an education, really not to socialize, so the students that were there who were really focused on getting their education, they kind of dialed in and found out like what was available, focused on their education and their studies. But there was plenty of time to actually socialize, so that wasn&#039 ; t really, you know, a problem. We would even travel as far as going up to Kutztown for some events. So we, we managed to actually make it work. But again, I want to, you know, emphasize that primarily we were there to get-- to get like an education. And, of course, you know, there is also-- the, what I want to consider to be the I guess, the romantic aspect of being in college. Everybody ended up with a boyfriend or girlfriend or significant other in the sense that, you know, they weren&#039 ; t always, you know, alone, by themselves. There were social events, they could partner up and things to go to, so I think it actually worked out-- I think that actually worked out fairly well. Some of the more memorable events... I mean, mine were probably more sports-related because we used to travel to do sports. But I think at that time, Muhlenberg&#039 ; s football and soccer teams were actually pretty good. They had a lot of students that Muhlenberg had recruited to play soccer, including one young man who was from South America. And I&#039 ; ll never forget, he was the only one on campus that had a Shelby Cobra Mustang at the time. So he was a-- he was a pretty popular guy. So, you know, there were lots of events, social events. I can&#039 ; t really talk about anything in particular, but again, it was fun wrestling. I got to compete in some of the postseason stuff, so that was memorable. One of the most memorable things is, when I was in high school in the Lehigh Valley, I was aware of some of the more advanced, you know, wrestlers in the Lehigh Valley. And it turns out that in my senior year, I had to wrestle a guy who was a local champion that had went to Moravian. And I was a little-- I was a little anxious about the whole situation because he had been advertised as fairly good, but I ended up winning that match, so that was a pretty memorable point of my times going to Muhlenberg, you know, just competing against somebody that was a local champion. But I actually won that match, so that was a good, good memory. Let&#039 ; s see, am I answering...? I&#039 ; m trying to answer most of the question, I&#039 ; m trying to cover as-- cover as much as I can. One of the things that-- and I guess I probably shouldn&#039 ; t tell this, but I will. So one of the things we discovered is that Muhlenberg courses were three-credit courses and Cedar Crest courses were four-credit courses. And so that would mean that, you know, three Cedar Crest courses, I think would be equivalent of four Muhlenberg courses if I have that right. So we&#039 ; re basically-- and plus, Cedar Crest at that time was an all girls school, so you&#039 ; d get to take a class with basically all other female students. So, you know, a bunch of us guys kind of figured that out and then we started taking some of the elective classes over at Cedar Crest. You couldn&#039 ; t take your major classes at Cedar Crest, but you could take some of your elective classes over there, so that was pretty memorable, you know, being over at Cedar Crest, hanging out. And, you know, given that you were the only males on campus at the time, it was-- you know, people were glad to see you. SB: Thank you. And I guess for bringing us back to contemporary times, is there anything that you would have done differently if you could start over? Do you have any regrets about your college experience? DB: I don&#039 ; t-- I don&#039 ; t have any regrets. Well, the only regret I have and it&#039 ; s really kind of personal, kind of a little selfish, so to speak, is that, you know, once I got-- once I got out of college and was involved in my professional life, you know, most of the people that I was working with or were doing business with, they both-- they all play tennis and golf. And so I played neither, so when I got out of-- when I got out of college, I had to learn how to play both tennis and golf. And if you-- and if I remember correctly, where East Hall / Martin Luther is on the campus, the tennis courts were like right outside my window. And they did offer like tennis instruction. I know that, I think, I&#039 ; m pretty sure Muhlenberg had a golf team as well, so I could have actually learned both tennis and golf for free while I was going to college, but it never, really-- never really dawned on me. That&#039 ; s really my only regret, which is kind of small and just kind of, you know, personal. The only thing that I would have done differently had I known is that, you know, given-- being the first generation college student and not knowing what the possible career paths were. Once I decided, you know, that I wasn&#039 ; t going to, you know, stay on the pre-med track, I was going to switch over to economics with a minor in accounting. I didn&#039 ; t really realize that, you know, that had I gone into public accounting first and earned my CPA, financially speaking, I could have leveraged that better than just getting work with a corporation and then gone into just the accounting department. So my first-- So my first professional position when I left Muhlenberg, I was--I got a job in the accounting department at Penn Central. So Penn Central was a major conglomerate at the time. They owned a bunch of assets. So one of the assets that they owned besides the railroad, Penn Central--where the name comes from-- is they owned the Buckeye Pipeline Company in Macungie. And Buckeye had its accounting department on Buckeye Road, even had their own road-- on Buckeye Road in Macungie. So I was a group accountant in their accounting department and I got to learn the various aspects of accounting. So I was using my degree professionally, but I would have probably leveraged my accounting degree more financially had I gotten my CPA early, gone to a public accounting firm, and then studied for the CPA exam. Since then, I&#039 ; ve toyed around with getting-- earning my CPA and I-- I earned my MBA from St. Joe&#039 ; s in Philadelphia. I had a bunch of certifications because I ended up working for a manufacturing company, a Fortune 300 Company, where I was involved in the materials management function. So I had a couple of certifications in materials management and actually taught at Montgomery County Community College for a while. I got my certification in I.T. because my master&#039 ; s degree from St. Joe&#039 ; s was in I.T. And then once I had my MBA, I only needed one year of experience at a CPA firm to actually study for the CPA exam and then earned my CPA. However, getting that-- getting that one year of experience has been the trick. I&#039 ; ve known some people who actually quit their job and then went in and got their one-year. And what I&#039 ; ve been trying to do, I know a lot of local CPA firms, so what I&#039 ; ve been trying to do is actually talk to them about working part time during tax season to try to earn enough time-- to earn enough time so that I can qualify for that one year of experience. So it&#039 ; s still on my bucket list of things to do. And so I&#039 ; ll see if I actually get it done. So other than that, that&#039 ; s probably, but that&#039 ; s probably-- that&#039 ; s probably the only thing I would have done differently. And again it comes from a lack of knowledge being first generation, not having that experience of growing up with a lot of other, you know, families that have professionals and just not knowing what was out there. I think Muhlenberg at the time, you know, did have a career guidance development department, which I think all colleges do. But, you know, I&#039 ; m sure Susan and Kate can probably tell you the students don&#039 ; t really avail themselves of that resource. I can&#039 ; t recall actually going over there and asking for any help, so I can&#039 ; t really say that it wasn&#039 ; t something that Muhlenberg didn&#039 ; t help me with if I don&#039 ; t actually ask for any help. So, you know, most of it&#039 ; s like, you know, we don&#039 ; t ask directions, we just kind of figure out where it is we&#039 ; re going. And, you know, if we can Google it, we&#039 ; ll actually get there. HP: Earlier, you mentioned that you were part of the Black Students Association while you were here, so I just wanted to know if there was anything that you guys proposed to like administration, or anything you guys tried to change while you were here and like kind of how that process went or with any groups or students of color here at Muhlenberg. DB: I guess at that time we really didn&#039 ; t really propose anything. They actually did give us a physical room, if you will, that we could call our own, that we could store our own stuff in, our files and stuff like that, and where we could kind of congregate and meet, kind of like a lounge. I think it was in the-- in the basement of one of the dorm room-- dorm buildings. I do remember that because I actually had the key, so I do remember that. But I don&#039 ; t think we actually reached out to the school to ask for very much at that time, it was more socially oriented as opposed to political. We weren&#039 ; t really trying to, you know, change any, you know, social living conditions or anything like that. So I don&#039 ; t think there was any-- I can&#039 ; t recall anything that we-- that we actually reached out for besides just having the space and having some supplies and just having the college support us to be able to actually have kind of the Black Student Union, if you will. I don&#039 ; t think there was-- there was much that we were-- that we were asking about. In terms of, you know, what experience changed the trajectory of my life, I think in general, the college experience kind of-- it&#039 ; s a-- it&#039 ; s a liberal arts background that you&#039 ; re getting. So, you know, we had to take courses in, like art, art history, theory, psychology, Ss it kind of well-- I don&#039 ; t want to say it makes you a well-rounded person, but it gives you a wider breadth of educational learning, if you will. And I think that has helped me a lot because I&#039 ; m able to contribute, I believe, to the Lehigh Valley community. You know, I&#039 ; ve served on a lot of nonprofit boards, many-- many as the treasurer. So, for example, the Lehigh Conference of Churches, which does most of the safety net programs here in the Lehigh Valley, you know, rental assistance, mental assistance, food bank, you know, daytime, drop in center. I&#039 ; m actually the treasurer for them. There is a federally-funded health clinic that&#039 ; s been in Allentown for the last 10 years. They started out in the Casa Guadalupe Spanish Center on Second Street. We then expanded to the Donegan Center, which is on Southside Bethlehem, again, a highly Hispanic neighborhood. And then we expanded into Easton and opened up a third location there. And then we dialed back into Bethlehem and opened up another facility on Broad Street. And we&#039 ; re working on opening up a facility on Hamilton Street, so that would be our fifth location. So I&#039 ; d been the treasurer of the federally-funded health clinic now for the past five years, having been President previously. I&#039 ; m currently the president of the Allentown School District Foundation. The School District Foundation and Parkland School District has one, Bethlehem Area School District has a foundation as well. So these are the local public school districts that have a nonprofit associated with the district which is responsible for helping fund the district for things that the district can&#039 ; t-- either can&#039 ; t fund directly or can&#039 ; t receive funds for. So as an example, in Allentown-- Allentown was being awarded a two million dollar grant to physically fix up their school buildings. They have twenty-one buildings in the Allentown school district. And as you&#039 ; re aware, with the whole COVID-- coronavirus situation, for public buildings are supposed to look at upgrading your air handling systems and so the school district is being awarded a two-million dollar grant to upgrade their twenty-one buildings, but they could not directly receive the grants. So the School District Foundation, for which I was serving as president and still am, we received the grant and then passed it to the school district. When many of the families in Allentown went virtual, they did not have Wi-Fi. I mean, people consider Wi-Fi to be kind of like a basic right now, like in the Constitution, there&#039 ; s something that says you have Wi-Fi, but there&#039 ; s really not. And so what we had to do is, we had to get mobile hotspots for numerous families in the Allentown School District. And again, Verizon was willing to donate the hotspots, donate the physical device and then charge a lower rate for usage. But again, they couldn&#039 ; t-- they couldn&#039 ; t transact directly with the school district, so they transacted with the School District Foundation and we were able to pass that through. And then lastly, just from a foundation standpoint, we raised funding to furnish all twenty-one schools with masks that the students could wear when they came back in their hybrid situation, which they&#039 ; re using now. So I would say that my education at Muhlenberg kind of positioned me on a trajectory that it&#039 ; s not just about, you know, making money, trying to become wealthy, but also about giving back to the overall community and providing value in being a business person from the community. I did serve on the Muhlenberg-- I think it&#039 ; s called the Board of Associates. So I did serve on the Muhlenberg Board of Associates for a number of years. I believe probably Susan and Kate-- everybody knows Mike Bruckner. That&#039 ; s a name-- Mike Bruckner is still on my Allentown&#039 ; s School District Foundation board. Mike&#039 ; s a great resource. We had to recently hire a new executive director, so I asked Mike to lead our search committee, which he did. So, again, I think the trajectory in terms of going to Muhlenberg I think opens up your mindset in terms of what you can and can&#039 ; t do. And, you know, I&#039 ; ve got a lot of connections with, with Muhlenberg right now, as we were saying. My four million dollar project I just launched in February. A.J. Lemheney [Vice-President and Executive Director, Graduate and Continuing Education], who&#039 ; s one of your professors out there, he&#039 ; s on my steering committee. Robin Riley-Casey [Director, Multi-Cultural Life] is on my African-American Business Leaders Council. And most recently, Dean Green, who was Dean of Students, who was with you guys-- my wife considers her her surrogate mother. And so at my most recent wedding four years ago, we had two moms, my-- my wife&#039 ; s natural mother, and Dean Green, who was there, my wife&#039 ; s surrogate mother up here. So I&#039 ; ve got a lot of connections with-- with Muhlenberg still going on. SB: I guess looking back, are there any classes that you took at Muhlenberg that stood out to you that you really loved taking? And can you talk a little bit about your relationship with your professors and other faculty members? DB: So even though I wasn&#039 ; t a political science major, I mean, I really liked a political science course at the time because, again, that wasn&#039 ; t my major. I was a business major, I was majoring in economics and accounting. And so I really-- I mean, I really like that course, gave me some exposure to something-- not a field that I was going into, but again, just you&#039 ; re-- just you&#039 ; re thinking mindset. In terms of professors, that&#039 ; s a good one, I&#039 ; m just trying to think back. It&#039 ; s been a while since I was there so I can&#039 ; t actually recall anybody particular, like I can recall a face, just trying to get the name with the face is the hard part. But I would say that, you know, the one thing I can say is all the professors that I worked with were more than amenable to staying after class to answer questions, to help you out, to give you additional resource materials. And so I think that-- I mean, that whole mindset that they&#039 ; re willing to make the students the best they can be is a thing that I remember the most about the professors at Muhlenberg. You know, some-- because you know, I remember teachers in high school, they were always too busy to give you extra time. And so when you get to college and find out that it&#039 ; s, you know, it&#039 ; s different, that the professors were actually interested in you doing the best that you can without just making it harder, but making you, you know, be the best you can, I think that&#039 ; s what I kind of remember the most, not particular one professor over the other, but the general mindset of all the professors in the sense that they were willing to do whatever they could to actually help you. And this was the days before cell phones, so we couldn&#039 ; t-- and email, so there wasn&#039 ; t no texting, e-mailing, no Facebooking or any of that, so I&#039 ; m not sure what the professors do now. There&#039 ; s so many ways to get in touch with people and it&#039 ; s probably, you know, overload at this point, but back in those days, it was basically one-on-one dialog. HP: I know that you talked about that like, your class wasn&#039 ; t as political, more social. But is there anything that you would want to see for future students of color at Muhlenberg? In any aspect, whether it be career-wise, class-wise, politically-wise, socially? DB: Well, I think that-- I think that-- I would hope for students of color similar to what we&#039 ; re trying to do kind of at the high school level, is more course availability on things that are, that are cultural-related to their own culture, whether it&#039 ; s, you know, African-American students, Latinx students, Native American students, Asian students, just more course, you know-- it doesn&#039 ; t have to be one course that&#039 ; s just about that particular culture or ethnic group, but something more-- something that builds what we call cultural competency in terms of how-- because right now you&#039 ; re in an international world. When I was going to Muhlenberg, we didn&#039 ; t think so much like internationally, that we&#039 ; re going to be competing against people throughout the globe. We thought more so we&#039 ; re going to be competing against, you know, students from other colleges for jobs and positions here in the United States. But now everything&#039 ; s global. So I think at some point you have to build your cultural competency, not only for ethnicities that are in the-- in the United States, but throughout the world. And like the Allentown School District, for example, I think there&#039 ; s twenty-one different languages that are spoken in the Allentown School District. So clearly, I can&#039 ; t imagine that any significant portion of teachers in the Allentown School District are culturally competent in twenty-one different countries or backgrounds. So I think the-- building that cultural competency is something that I think the school should, you know, should either address, keep in mind. But I think that that&#039 ; s the area that I would see that would be the greatest benefits to students of color. I think it benefits all students, but I was thinking, you know, if we&#039 ; re going if we&#039 ; re going to change anything or do anything different, I think that is good as well, because, again, it gives students the opportunity to talk about their own experiences more so, you know, if you grew up in an urban setting like I did, I mean, one of your professors, Roberta Meek, I don&#039 ; t know if she&#039 ; s still there or not, but Roberta Meek did a project with the-- through Muhlenberg that had to do with the, I think, the redevelopment process to happened in the city of Allentown. So when I was growing up in grade school and then middle school, like I said, my father owned a business, he owned a barbershop in Allentown. And we were living in one of the neighborhoods that got redeveloped. Redeveloped, meaning that they were going to buy up all the properties, tear them down, and rebuild new. And so we were in the first wave of that-- that happened throughout cities, throughout the country. And there&#039 ; s books that have been written about that. And in fact, one of the individuals who works for us now at Community Action, who graduated from William Allen High School-- and then subsequently graduated from Lehigh, has now gone to I think Yale Law School, he did his history, did his project, his senior project at Lehigh on the whole redevelopment process in Allentown. And when the redevelopment happened, as Roberta documented in the work that she did, we only moved like three blocks over. Well, guess what? The next wave that came through, those are the next-- the next three blocks. And so once my father saw that, then he just moved to like the suburbs. So he moved about five miles away to the actual suburbs. And so, you know, that whole process of going through the redevelopment was something that was a different experience as well. So, again, I think that if you had courses that talked about, you know, your culture, your background, your experiences, these are the type of things that students growing up could contribute to the actual, you know, overall learning process. And again, it helps build the cultural competency of others that you&#039 ; re actually working with. And I guess I should also state that, you know, the other thing I&#039 ; ve learned is that not all of the things that happen are focused on the inner city as well. There&#039 ; s many rural situations in Pennsylvania. There&#039 ; s so many small towns and municipalities. If you just draw like a five mile radius circle around Muhlenberg, there&#039 ; s probably, I don&#039 ; t know, almost 50 little, you know, municipalities that all have, you know, that that all have something. I live in Macungie currently, but if I go for my-- just from my house to Kutztown, I have to drive through Macungie, I have to go from Lower Macungie to Upper Macungie to Breinigsville to another little town. And then I actually get to Kutztown and it&#039 ; s only like five miles. So, you know, my point being is that, you know, it&#039 ; s not just the inner city experience, it&#039 ; s the rural experience. And I think that, you know, classes that talk to the experience of all people across all colors and ethnicities, bodes everybody well. SUSAN FALCIANI MALDONADO: I think that&#039 ; s such a good point. And particularly in-- if you think of the recent just divides in our country in so many different ways, the different awareness and competencies in-- of other people in other regions potentially, and concerns of theirs, rural as well as those, you know, more in the city, are super relevant. So this has been wonderful. I thank you so much. I have one question that&#039 ; s kind of a-- in the course of our research, and it seemed like you might be somebody who might know this individual-- Are you familiar or have you ever worked with a lady by the name of Janice Williams? DB: I know Janice Williams well. She was one of the probably-- one of the individuals that I could say helped me. Janice Williams at some point-- Janice Williams at some point, she was on the Allentown School Board. But I think she&#039 ; s-- pretty sure she was on Allentown School Board when I was in college. And so she was one of the individuals that was a benefactor to me in the sense that she valued education. She knew my father-- my parents well. And she would talk to them, you know, about the college experience and neither one of my parents had gone to college, so they would use her kind of as a resource. And in fact, my current office is on Seventh Street in Allentown. And Janice lives like one block over on Eighth Street in Allentown. So I know Janice well. And so, yes-- her picture is actually hanging in the foyer at the Allentown School District Administration Building because I think-- pretty sure she was on the Downtown School Board for a number of years and she was very close friends with the then superintendent of the Allentown schools. So, yes, I know, I know Janice well. SFM: Well, thank you for that. So in the course-- so it seems that she was Muhlenberg class of seventy or seventy one, and then she worked in the admissions office for just a few years before she went on to these other career moves. DB: Right, so yeah. Yes. There is a chance that she might have been instrumental in getting me in there. At that time when you&#039 ; re like 17, 18, you don&#039 ; t know all the things your parents are doing behind the scenes. So, yes, I&#039 ; d say that I&#039 ; m sure that she had something to do with me being able to successfully get admitted to Muhlenberg. SFM: Well, at some point in the future, I may reach out if you might be willing to share her contact information. She&#039 ; s not somebody that we&#039 ; ve-- we&#039 ; ve had a chance to. But as we think about in the summer, moving forward with the project and different, more people to interview in different aspects or something, you know, we might appreciate an introduction if you might be willing to do that. DB: Sure. No problem. I&#039 ; m glad I can reach out, I know people that are still in contact with her. I haven&#039 ; t called her in a while so I could probably just reach out and reacquaint myself. But yeah, she&#039 ; s-- I know that she had-- I think, I believe she had worked at PP&amp ; L for a while as well, bI know she&#039 ; s been retired for a number of years. But she still lives in what they call the &quot ; Old Downtown Preservation Neighborhood&quot ; here. And I know a couple of her neighbors pretty well. SFM: Thank you. DB: I&#039 ; d be more than happy to make the connection. SFM: I would appreciate that so much, we really would. So does anybody else have-- Do you have any questions for us or do others have more questions for Dan? DB: Well, I just want to thank you for contacting me. I&#039 ; m always willing to help when there&#039 ; s like a volunteer project going because the thing I&#039 ; ve learned as being part of the director for a nonprofit, volunteers are your most valuable resource. And so it&#039 ; s difficult for you to expect people to volunteer for you to help out if you don&#039 ; t return the favor in kind. So I&#039 ; m always willing to be available, make myself available to do what I need to do and see where I can help out. SFM: Thank you so much. DB: Don&#039 ; t be afraid. Don&#039 ; t be afraid to reach back if there&#039 ; s more information you need or there&#039 ; s any other way I can help or make some connections. SFM: Thank you so much. Absolutely. Thank you for your time. DB: You&#039 ; re welcome. Thank you! Copyright remains with the interview subject and their heirs. video The interviews collected as part of the project &quot ; The History of Diversity and Inclusion at Muhlenberg College&quot ; are hereby shared with the consent of the participants under Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0). Under this license, the interviewees have agreed for the interviews to be publicly available in the Trexler Library archives and as a freely available resource on the internet for educators, scholars, students, and others who wish to explore the many stories about Muhlenberg College’s path toward diversity and inclusion. 0

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“Daniel Bosket, April 19, 2021,” Muhlenberg College Oral History Repository, accessed July 23, 2024, https://trexlerworks.muhlenberg.edu/mc_oralhistory/items/show/78.