Boricua College Remembers Beloved Professor Alfredo Serrano
By Robert Waddell
Alfred Serrano, professor at Boricua College, often boasted that he had worked at almost any kind of job. He knew the American history behind the creation of blue jeans and he was a war veteran with a gentle soul.
The Boricua College learning annex on East 147th Street in the South Bronx is a little too quiet without the academic facilitator who often offered students and colleagues a dish full of candy. Serrano died suddenly of a massive coronary on January 4.
“He was a caring person and a humanitarian,” said Professor Julio Sanchez. “He believed in rejoicing and for people to come together making a better world through education.”
Serrano had been a member of the Boricua College faculty since 1996.
He had 27 years experience in the fields of elementary through post-secondary education.
From 1965 to 1967, Captain Serrano, a Puerto Rican, served in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in Vietnam. He was both an enlisted man and an officer serving in positions as varied as supervisor-unit commander, Infantry advisor in South Vietnam, Staff Officer, Personnel Officer and Communications Officer.
As an educator, he often shared stories about Vietnam and growing up in New York City.
Serrano was quick with a joke and had a loud laugh.
He loved history and geography and often taught courses in these subjects.
“I'm going to miss the conversations we had,” said Professor Esteban Galvan. “He was a very understanding, very caring person. He could talk about all kinds of subjects; he was always interested in learning.”
Serrano is survived by his mother, a brother, two sons and several grandchildren.
Robert Waddell is a freelance journalist based in the Bronx who contributes his writings to Puerto Rico. Waddell, who serves at Boricua College, worked with Serrano for over three years.