Remembering Lawrence Senesh
(March 27, 1910 - November 19, 2003)
by Chuck Howe and Larry Singell

Lawrence "Larry" Senesh of Boulder died of natural causes at his home on November 19, 2003. He was 93.

Mr. Senesh was a professor of economics at the University of Colorado from 1969 to 1980.

He had a brief career as a journalist with the Hungarian Statistical Review (Statistikai Tudosito) before fleeing Hungary at the beginning of World War II. He was inducted into the army in 1942. He served at Camp Carson, Colorado, before joining the Army Information Education Agency in the South Pacific in New Caledonia. He received a Commendation for Outstanding Service and a Bronze Star for meritorious service-his greatest pride and joy.

He joined the faculty of the University of Denver as an assistant professor of economics and assistant director of creative graphics. From 1950 to 1952, he studied at the London School of Economics and in 1952 became the first staff economist with the Joint Council on Economic Education in New York City. In 1957 he joined Purdue University's economics faculty, and in 1969 he came to the University of Colorado.

From 1964 to 1973, he developed a social science curriculum for grades one through six, titled "Our Working World," which included textbooks, resource guides and filmstrips. In this work, he collaborated extensively with Kenneth Boulding and other eminent social scientists.

He recieved an honorary doctorate from Purdue University, the Marvin Bower Medal Award from the Joint Council on Economic Education, and a Fulbright Award for his life's work. In 1991, the Indiana Council for Economic Education recognized Mr. Senesh for his K-12 initiatives, and the first Lawrence Senesh Award for School Administrators was presented. The Lawrence Senesh Fellowship was established at the University of Denver, and Lawrence Senesh Archives were created at the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University.

Here in Boulder, friends and colleagues will deeply miss and fondly remember Larry Senesh's charismatic and charming nature. A person of utter integrity, Larry was a valued colleague and master teacher. In settings as diverse as an elementary school class or a graduate seminar, he was capable of motivating his audience to reach the highest planes of understanding. Kenneth Boulding, having observed Larry's capacity, formulated what he dubbed as Senesh's Law. This law, a modification of Occam's razor, simply says anything you can't explain to fourth graders is unlikely to be true. This talent produced generations of young scholars with a deep commitment to teaching excellence.

One of Larry Senesh's most endearing qualities was his wonderful sense of humor. His colleagues were always eager to hear his latest jokes. Frequently these jokes, while uproariously funny, also contained some pointed insight into social and political issues. In the glint and crinkle of Larry's blue eyes was always the message "society can be better, we can make a difference, and this joke is an insight into a direction we might take."

Larry Senesh was a living example of the power of a committed Renaissance man. His love for art, music, and the highest forms of human expression in every field, dominated his life's activities.

One of the great lessons of civilization is that it provides an opportunity for each new generation to stand on the shoulders of giants. Larry Senesh was such a giant, providing superior perspective to all who were fortunate to share his company.

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