Photo by Austin Drucker ‘17
When you show your ID at the ticket stand and receive your ticket to a Lafayette football or basketball game, you aren’t particularly focused on the man smiling back at you from behind the table. But he’s a familiar face.
That man is Richard Knauss. He began his career handling tickets for Lafayette events 36 years ago, well before the new Kirby Field House was built and during a time when Lafayette fielded more than 30 fraternities on campus. The parents of current Lafayette students were barely entering college themselves.
Knauss didn’t even get paid for his first day of work. He was simply volunteering to help out a friend. Now, over three decades later, he is a Lafayette institution.
He is no stranger to students and education. Knauss spent most of his life – 46 years, in fact – as a teacher and then principal in Bucks County. He then retired and was interested in finding a different line of work or hobby, one that would allow him to hobnob with people, which he has always enjoyed.
Knauss also has a passion for sampling world cultures. As a young man in middle school, Knauss snuck into a synagogue with his friends to obtain a sense of how Judaism is practiced. He has since served as a missionary in places as diverse as Argentina, Costa Rica, Hungary, Greece and Israel.
But all that aside, you will now see him at his familiar place outside of the Kirby Sports Center gymnasium. What drives a man as worldly as Knauss to spend so much time on the Lafayette campus? Not a love for sports—rather, a desire to be involved in a college community and with its students.
“My family has all passed,” Knauss said. “Now, Lafayette is my family.”
No matter the situation, Knauss seemingly always has a kind word ready for those who walk up to secure a ticket for the game. He might have some advice, too. After all, he is that rare person who is always looking to help.
Asked what he enjoys most about his job, Knauss responded, “You. Everyone that surrounds me on this campus.”