In Memoriam Barbara F. McManus

I am very sorry to report that Barbara F. McManus died this morning after a long and very brave battle with cancer.  Professor McManus received her B.A. from the College of New Rochelle, summa cum laude, in 1964 and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard in 1975.  She began teaching at the College of New Rochelle as an Instructor in 1967 and remained there until she retired from the post of Professor of Classics in 2000.  She produced outstanding scholarship and created innovative courses in classics and women’s studies and was a leader in developing online resources for the field, most notably the VRoma project.

While I hope to publish a more detailed memorial notice in the future, I want to express my immediate regret that the Society has lost a member who served it so long and so well.  Professor McManus was a member and chair of multiple committees.  She was elected an at large member of the Board of Directors (1994-1997) and Vice President for Professional Matters (2001-2005).  As Vice President she led the effort to create our census of classics department staffing and enrollments, personally updated our list of departments where classics is taught, and persuaded those departments to respond to the first iteration of that census (covering the 2003-2004 academic year).  About 60% of the departments on our list ultimately did complete the census, and in subsequent years the Society was not able to achieve that level of participation until the most recent iteration when we hired the University of Chicago’s Survey Lab to carry out this project.  For all of this effort Professor McManus received our Distinguished Service Award in 2009, and the picture below shows her receiving that award from Kurt Raaflaub, then President of the Society, at the annual meeting in that year. 

Working with Barbara McManus was one of the highlights of my experience as Executive Director of the Society.  I will miss her a great deal.

Adam D. Blistein
June 19, 2015

Update July 1, 2015:  The Classical Association of the Atlantic States has posted this comprehensive memorial notice

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