Campus Faces

Truman Eshbach attended Moravian only for a year (1954-55), but he has spent more time on campus since then than probably all the members of any class year combined.

The scoreboard operator for Moravian football as well as men's and women's basketball, Truman celebrated his 50th year at the end of the 2005 basketball season.

Time off, a knee repair, and the rest of his life? "For the last 50 years, our vacation schedules have settled around the Athletics Department," he says.

A native of Fountain Hill, Truman went into the Navy after high school and then entered Moravian. But he found he could make money working at Bethlehem Steel, so he dropped out of college.

In the meantime, athletics director Harvey Gillespie asked if he would work the sidelines, carrying and setting the down markers, at Moravian football games. "I was an ex-serviceman, and therefore trustworthy," he says.

Then Moravian established a wrestling program, and Gillespie wanted the same person to handle the scoreboard for both. Truman got the job. In those days, the scoreboard was manual, and he'd send students to hang the score numbers from little hooks. When football moved from the Quad to Steel Field, an electronic scoreboard was installed, and Truman went digital.

He scored wrestling under coach Paul Kuklentz until 1994, when it was dropped; last year, he added men's lacrosse to his repertory. For football and basketball, he scores the junior varsity as well as the varsity games. He's scored 1,500 varsity football and basketball games alone.

Truman also worked under Don Ramsey in the duplicating office in the basement of Comenius Hall, starting in 1984; when Ramsey retired, Truman became chief duplicator with Connie Carfagno as his assistant.

In addition to all this, Truman is a life member of the Fountain Hill rescue squad. As its driver, he has attended commencements, alumni weekends (which used to have a cross-country run as part of the activities) and athletic activities at both Moravian and Lehigh University.

He also has had a full schedule of weddings, dances, parties, class reunions, and summer park concerts playing trombone in the Dave Neith Orchestra for 52 years.

Truman and his wife, Marie, got married in 1953, and have four children: Greg, 48; Leslie Ellen, 44; David, 43; and Glenn, 40, a graduate of the Moravian Class of 1987.

He's worked under athletics directors Gillespie, Rocco Calvo, John Makuvek, and Paul Moyer, and a long list of coaches and assistant coaches. He's seen four presidents of the College, and he can't even count the vice presidents.

As the rules of sports have changed over the years, he begins every season by asking the officials what affects the scoreboard. This includes not only the score but the game time and the play clock; in football, the downs and yards to go; in basketball, the individual and team fouls.

"It's been a busy life, but I've loved every minute of it," Truman says. "I get the biggest kick out of seeing these kids come in, immature, scared, their first time away from home, and leave as ladies and gentlemen four years later."

Photo: John Ferro Jr.