Campus Loop Road is a Walk Down Memory Lane for the Larsson Family

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The Larsson family has a special connection and an unwavering dedication to Delaware Valley University. Barbara (Larsson) Livrone is a former resident of campus and current volunteer. Oskar H. Larsson ’52, Barbara’s late father, was a dairy science graduate of the National Agricultural College. He was the Registrar of Delaware Valley College from 1954 until his retirement in 1989. Barbara’s family lived in the Margaret Mead House, located at the corner of W Court St. and S West St. in Doylestown, while their house on campus was under construction. Their house, now known as House 1 and home to the Office of Marketing and Communications, is located where New Britain Road meets Campus Loop Road. 

The Larsson family moved into House 1 in 1960, and their neighbors in what is now House 2 were Dr. Joshua Feldstein and his family. Dr. Don Meyer, Dean of DelVal, lived in the Dean’s House (now the President’s House) at that time. Barbara's parents lived in House 1 until her father retired. “My sister and I enjoyed growing up with Dr. Meyer’s children, Elizabeth and Bert, and Dr. Feldstein’s sons, Ted and Dan,” said Barbara. “The campus was our playground and we spent our summers going to the orchard, visiting and playing at the farms. In the winter, we enjoyed sledding from our house to the pond (now called Lake Archer), and ice skating on the pond. We also enjoyed exploring the Burpee Farm, which was across the street.”

Barbara and her husband, Dennis Livrone, met when they both worked at the Bucks County Planning Commission. The couple received permission from President Feldstein to get married in the Ida Block Memorial Chapel on August 16, 1986. They have three daughters, Christine, Jacqueline and Emily, and six grandchildren. Dennis was an adjunct professor at DelVal for 25 years and currently serves on the One Health Committee. He taught land use planning courses in the landscape architecture, environmental science and policy departments. Dennis was also currently an adjunct professor at Temple University, but notes that because of DelVal’s smaller size, the experience at DelVal has many advantages over a larger university, as it’s easier to get to know students in other departments and programs.

In addition to the fond memories at House 1, Barbara and her family have remained connected to the University over the years. They were here for a ceremony in front of Lasker Hall for the dedication of a bench honoring Barbara’s late mother, Ruby Larsson, and Dr. Jim Diamond '61’s late wife, Betty. Another proud and fond memory from Barbara was during the 2018 Commencement ceremony on campus, when Michael Smerconish, CNN commentator, was the speaker. “He had met my dad a week prior to the ceremony at Pine Run Community, where my dad lived,” explained Barbara. “Mr. Smerconish was impressed that, while my dad was Registrar at DelVal, citizenship was a course that received a letter grade." Smerconish was struck by Oskar’s dedication to making sure students were prepared to participate as active citizens. "Mr. Smerconish spoke about my dad in his commencement speech. Now, civics is a component of DelVal’s E360 program.” Barbara continues her relationship with the University today as a loyal volunteer in the Division of Development and Alumni Affairs.

Larsson Family in front of House 1 of Delaware Valley University