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Herman "Doc" Estrin, NJCPA Founder

Dr. Herman Estrin, of Scotch Plains, N.J., an emeritus professor of English at New Jersey Institute of Technology and an educator for more than 60 years, died Friday, May 7, 1999, in Westfield, N.J., after a short illness. Born June 2, 1915, he was 83.

Estrin, who founded the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association in 1952, began his teaching career at the Grant School in South Plainfield, in 1938, and recently concluded 50 years of teaching at NJIT.

He is a 1933 graduate of North Plainfield High School and a 1937 graduate of Drew University, where he received an honorary degree in 1998. He received his master's degree from Columbia University in 1942 and his doctorate from Columbia in 1954. Dr. Estrin served in the U.S. Army during World War II, from 1942-1946, attaining the rank of captain.

Estrin joined NJIT, then Newark College of Engineering, as an instructor of English, in 1946. He touched the lives of NCE and NJIT students for more than five decades. Until his retirement in 1981, he was adviser for almost every student publication at the university, including the school newspaper, yearbook, literary magazine and technical magazine. He is founder of the "The Log," the student handbook.

"Doc Estrin, by a wide margin, was the most asked for professor whenever I visited alumni groups throughout the nation and world," said NJIT President Saul K. Fenster. "Doc taught students to "have an appreciation for arts and humanities, communications, and to have a regard for their fellow human beings. He was a wonderful teacher and friend to students. Doc will be missed by everyone at NJIT. He had a profound impact on the university."

For 30 years, the Estrin Scholarships have been given to NJIT students showing leadership in extracurricular activities. He was the first recipient of NJIT's Robert Van Houten Excellence in Teaching Award in 1970, and was given the 1971 Western Electric Fund Award for excellence in the instruction of engineering students, and the Distinguished Teaching Award by the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English.

Organizations such as the National Council of College Publication Advisers, which gave him the Distinguished Newspaper Adviser Award; the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, which gave him the Gold Key Award; the New Jersey Scholastic Press Association; and The Wall Street Journal have recognized Estrin as an outstanding faculty adviser.

Estrin authored numerous publications. He lectured and made presentations internationally. He as president of the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English; the New Jersey College English Association; Pi Delta Upsilon, the collegiate journalism society; and the National Council of College Publications.

Estrin received the Silver Medal from the mayor of Paris for teaching chemical engineering graduate students at the University of Paris. In 1976, he initiated the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame at NJIT, which includes the most prestigious writers from the Garden State.

"He's an icon," said Mary Higgins Clark, who has written numerous best-selling suspense novels and is a member of the Hall of Fame. In 1995, Estrin was inducted as a charter member of the North Plainfield High School Alumni Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife Pearl, son Robert and daughter Cari.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Estrin Scholarships through NJIT's Office of University Advancement, (973) 596-3400.

 


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The mission of NJCPA is to advance the prestige and integrity of New Jersey college newspapers.