Professor Douglas Lackey of Baruch College’s Philosophy Department will be serving his 100,000th cup of coffee and tea to students this Monday morning.
“The last cup from Box #100 (1000 cups per box) will be handed out at 11:10 a.m. [on] Monday in Room 1-120 during my Jewish, Christian, Islamic Philosophy in the Middle Ages [class],” said Lackey in an email to The Ticker.
Lackey has been serving it up to his students since 1976 without missing a single day. By keeping this small tradition alive for so many years, it has turned into something bigger, something that students look forward to everyday.
He is well known among students and professors at Baruch, having been a dedicated professor for all of the 40 years of his teaching career; he hasn’t missed a single class and his office is always open to students who desire to chat, and most importantly sip on some coffee or tea.
“His presence is admired by many students and his office is always open for […] Professor Lackey is a natural teacher who genuinely enjoys teaching,” says Mary Gin who is a collegue of Professor Lackey’s and a member of the philosophy department at Baruch.
“The satisfaction [Lackey gets] from teaching comes when he sees students absorb what he has just lectured on his class and their ability to reason better and articulate what they think” as a result, says Gin.
It was, in fact, Professor Gin who alerted The Ticker to Lackey’s 100,000th cup, showing such things don’t go unnoticed at Baruch.
Lackey says the provision of refreshments in class was something he started to do many years ago,. “I’ve kept doing it because it’s just something I do.”
The idea behind bringing the beverages everyday is that he wants to improve the classroom atmosphere and make it friendlier than it is when there is no such provision. Lackey feels it energizes his students and in some cases keeps them awake.
When asked where the coffee comes from, Lackey said he purchases it at “Stop and Shop (it’s all out of pocket).” He prepares the refreshments for his students himself every day, then, “It goes up to the classroom on my cart, which one student once nicknamed Descartes.”
His personal philosophy is, “I don’t every professor should be serving coffee (the whole student body would be on speed!), but each professor should think of SOMETHING to make the class special.”