George Mason University

News at Mason

In Memory: Retiree Howard Lasus Passes Away

February 2, 2012

By Aaron Hartman, University Libraries

Howard Lasus. Photo courtesy of the University Libraries

The university community mourns the loss of Howard Alan Lasus, a Mason retiree who passed away on Monday, Jan. 2, after battling an ongoing illness; he will be greatly missed.

Howard retired from Mason officially in June 2011 after serving the university in several positions over 24 years. His position for the last 12 years was research consultant for Statistical Research Services at the University Libraries.

Howard was an amazingly intelligent and creative man who came up with brilliant solutions to problems as often as he did zany, out-of-the-box ones. Personally or professionally, Howard was eager to lend his mind and heart to any problem. He worked with many staff members on projects within the University Libraries, but sometimes he would simply visit colleagues just to say hello, always bringing with him good humor and advice.

Howard’s scholarly accomplishments over his many years at Mason were perhaps better known among the faculty and students he worked with than they were among the University Libraries staff, but that was largely due to Howard’s humility. He was never Dr. Lasus; he was simply and profoundly Howard, always willing to help while never caring about the accolades. Learning something from the experience was his best reward. He was always professional with his clients, and he received significant praise over the years for his dedicated service from students and faculty alike.

Howard saw the need for providing a freely available service on campus for researchers who needed assistance with their quantitative research long before such research methodology became the norm for most institutions’ curricula. Howard was teaching workshops on quantitative research before such subject matter became required coursework for many disciplines at Mason. He also saw the importance of having qualitative research assistance available, and he brought it to the University Libraries in 2000. At the time, it was one of the few programs of its kind in the country.

Howard, who lived in Clifton, Va., enjoyed working with the Clifton Betterment Association and making his town a beautiful place. Thus, in lieu of flowers, a donation in his honor can be made to the association. He is survived by his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Robin and Jill. Howard’s will expressly stated that he did not want a funeral to be held, and the family prefers we remember Howard as he was.

A campus memorial will be held in Howard’s honor in the near future; information on that is forthcoming.