Jim, Dean Shealey, and Sally Gould-Taylor together in Ritter Hall
Photo caption: Jim Lemanowicz stands between Dean Monika Williams Shealey, College of Education and Human Development on the left and Sally Gould-Taylor, Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities.

The Institute Celebrates an ‘Original’

On January 31, 2024, after nearly 50 years at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, Jim Lemanowicz, Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation, is retiring.

Jim was the last of the “original” Institute staff, having been hired only three months after the establishment of the Developmental Disabilities Center, as the Institute was then called, in June 1974. For some perspective, Jim worked for six Executive Directors and numerous deans.

During his half century at Temple, Jim’s work has contributed to not only the growth of the Institute but has helped advance the concept and practice of participatory research in Pennsylvania.

“I am proud of the work I have done, including projects which have had national significance,” Lemanowicz said. Projects like the Pennhurst Longitudinal Study, which followed former residents of the Pennhurst State School and Hospital in Eastern Pennsylvania. “That groundbreaking study showed that people with disabilities are better off after moving from an institution to the community,” Lemanowicz said.

Jim has helped shape the profile of the Institute, according to Executive Director Sally Gould-Taylor. “Jim has been a part our most important research and evaluation programs, from beginning to end,” Gould-Taylor says. “He has been dedicated to the Institute’s mission and values throughout his career here. He doesn’t just work here, he lives it.”

In addition to the work, Jim has been the king of Institute celebrations like the annual holiday party, Halloween at the Institute, and even the Institute version of “the wing bowl.”

So, it was fitting that the Institute threw a party, in his honor, on Wednesday, January 24 to celebrate his career and his retirement. Food, memories, and photographs through the years were enjoyed by family and friends.

Jim shared a few thoughts with his colleagues during the party: “I have great admiration for the people I have worked with over the years, who were nearly without exception people of honor, humanity, and integrity. Know that I will miss you and Temple University greatly.”

“Jim is really the heart of the Institute,” Gould-Taylor says. “While we’re so happy for him and wish him the happiest of retirements, he’ll be sorely missed.”