Bob Muth’s focus in attending Lancaster Friends Meeting is, in large part, on education, and how Quaker values can enhance the educational experience for young and old alike.
Education is a theme that has continued throughout Bob’s adult life. Born in Philadelphia, Bob attended high school in Trenton, NJ, and received a scholarship to Lafayette College after graduation. Bob then received a scholarship for postgraduate ministry training, one of seven Rockefeller Brothers scholars to be selected that year.
However, his divinity education was interrupted by military service, mostly in Korea. Upon his return, Bob decided that law school was a better fit for him, and applied to Columbia Law School. After receiving his law degree, Bob worked for a law firm in Washington, DC., after which he worked for 35 years for a mining company with a New York headquarters.
Bob moved to Bucks County, PA, where his first child, Christopher, was born. And that’s when Quakerism entered the picture (Bob attended Methodist and Episcopal churches as a young person but didn’t consider himself particularly religious until later in life, which is one factor in his leaving ministry training for law school).
Seeking a quality education for his son, Bob enrolled Christopher in Newtown Friends School in Bucks County, about which he had heard good things. This went extremely well, for Bob’s son became a successful student in both the Friends School’s, and subsequently in the George School’s, supportive environment. This prepared his son for success throughout his life. Having witnessed the excellence of Friends education, Bob later enrolled his daughter Jennifer in the George School, and she too did very well.
Bob began going to Quaker meetings while his son was at Newtown Friends; he liked the atmosphere and later served on the board of George School for ten years. As head of their finance committee, Bob introduced the school to Cambridge Associates, a consulting firm for non-profits, which resulted in thoroughly restructuring the school’s financial development.
Bob has attended LFM for nine years, but there’s more to the appeal of Quakerism than education for Bob. As he puts it, “Quakers are good people… people I enjoy being with.”
That’s the big reason why Bob is moving to Kendall Village retirement home this year. “I can be with people I can rely on,” he says, “people who are well-educated and also kind.”
Regarding education, Bob is focused on the future, promoting the idea of having LFM partner with Lancaster’s Stone School, now a private, non-sectarian institution. In this way, the benefits of a Quaker educational environment may be made more readily available to the Lancaster community.