Were it not for the vision and tenacity of Robert (Bob) Anthony, there might never have been the organization so many of us have come to love so much, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS). Bob, now retired, was a longtime A&P professor at Triton College outside Chicago. Back in 1987, the organization that came to be known as HAPS was created when Bob and some colleagues from in and around the Chicago area hosted the first Anatomy and Physiology Workshop at Triton College. Following a second meeting at Triton in 1988, HAPS was officially “born” and since then has grown into a vibrant professional society of A&P educators from throughout North America and well beyond, boasting a membership that approaches 2000. Bob, in his typical quiet, out-of-the-spotlight fashion, served as a major driving force for the formation of HAPS and as an engaged advisor during those early years but did not assume the presidency until 1995 following the annual conference in Beaumont Texas.
Those of us “old-timers” who know Bob from his years in HAPS before retirement think of him first and foremost as just a genuinely nice guy. None of us have ever heard him say a bad word about anyone. He always looked for and found the best in everyone. He had a wealth of ideas and strategies to share and he shared them willingly, but he was always more interested in what you thought than what he was thinking. He was a force, albeit a quiet force, for quality teaching and professionalism. His willingness to put forth the effort to host and organize those first two meetings at Triton College and his savvy to tune into the enthusiasm that they generated were the reasons that we have HAPS today. He is, of course, way too modest to ever agree or acknowledge that.
Bob Anthony is truly a HAPS elder statesman. He is the epitome of a dedicated educator in that he wants every student to get the best possible education and fulfill his or her potential. He cares deeply about education, his students, and his colleagues. His rich history in HAPS is testimony to that.
The Bob Anthony scholarships that helps get the next generation of new A&P educators connected to the wonderful HAPS network and off to a solid start so they can better serve their students for many years to come is the perfect way to honor Bob. And receiving the award makes you a part of Bob’s wonderful legacy. And as you can see from the photo below, Bob continues to do good for others.
The photo is from 2009 of Bob in Nicaragua as part of a Nicaragua-Direct team of workers. Fittingly the organization’s mottos are:
“Together, we do make a difference in peoples lives.”
“Service Beyond Self – Always.”