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Service is in the Family DNA

Ed Bosch (far left) chats with his former baseball coach, Dave Ocorr (far right), who coached from 1969-74, and former Scranton teammate, Joe Obst at a reunion of Coach Ocorr’s teams in June.

For Ed Bosch ’71, a life of service was practically a foregone conclusion. On one side of the family were generations of military men. His grandfather fought in WW I and Bosch’s father, a West Point grad, served in the U.S. Army during WW II. On the other side, his mother’s upbringing had a strong Jesuit influence exerted by her uncle, Rev. Thomas J. Higgins, S.J., then-president of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia (who later taught ethics and served as chair of the philosophy department at Loyola College).

The family adored Uncle Tom. “I was an altar boy. I played baseball with him,” says Bosch, whose brothers and he all attended Jesuit universities. “There was just a general philosophy of service in my life growing up, and at Scranton, from the Jesuit community.” After college, the Vietnam War was escalating, but Bosch’s lottery number was so high that it was unlikely he’d be drafted. Yet, he wanted to do something in service to his country. 

“My mother loved President Kennedy, who started the Peace Corps, so I always thought of that as an option. She was proud of my decision to serve there.” His father? “Well, he had a great sense of humor. He said I was getting a two-year vacation paid for by the U.S. government,” Bosch says. A favorite professor at Scranton, Rev. Bernard Suppé, S.J., also encouraged his decision.

After a three-month language-immersion training program, Bosch went to the Dominican Republic (DR) from 1972 to 1974, where he worked for the Office of Community Development with youth in sports-related activities. He was a running coach and also helped coach the national track team. He credits his Scranton baseball coach for the skills that helped him serve in this way. “Coach Dave Ocorr was a great coach and a big influence on me. When the opportunity came to work in athletics with young people in the DR, I had the confidence and ability to jump into that,” Bosch says. 

Upon returning from the Peace Corps, Bosch worked for the University in the NCAA summer youth program for disadvantaged kids in the Scranton area. Bosch then went on to a successful career as an auditor with Johnson & Johnson. “I traveled all over the world as director of IT compliance. Being bilingual and having international experience helped me get my job, and I believe people I worked with in other countries could see that I was aware of cultural differences, that I wasn’t dogmatic,” says Bosch. “That helped form relationships and definitely contributed to my success professionally.” 

He notes that serving in a developing country was a humbling and transformative experience. “You carry that with you. I never could have known that those two years in my youth would have so shaped the rest of my life.” 

Bosch is now retired, with three grown children. He and his wife, Linda, live in Columbia, S.C., where they volunteer for Harvest Hope, which provides supplemental food to families in need and continue to be loyal University of Scranton donors.

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