In Memoriam: Robert A. Seelinger

(Written by Ted Tarkow)

An alum of Dickinson, Brown, and the University of Missouri (MU), Bob Seelinger (1951-2018) taught classics at Westminster College in Fulton, MO, from 1979 until taking early retirement in 2015, necessitated by a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  By the time of his death, he had served as professor of classics for over 20 years and in addition had served as Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of the College for over a half dozen years at the campus made famous by the “Iron Curtain” speech delivered there   in 1946 by Winston Churchill.

A beloved teacher, Bob taught all levels of both languages as well as a wide range of general education courses.  Not surprisingly to the scores of Westminster students who had studied with him, he received the APA Award for Excellence in the Teaching of the Classics, the Governor’s Award for Teaching, and the Parents’ Association Award for Teaching, among many other recognitions.    But his career also allowed presentations and publications in some of his favorite authors, from Apuleius (the focus of his PhD dissertation), to 4th century, Republican, and early Imperial authors and genres.  His abundant time at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, as well as at two NEH Summer Seminars, enabled other students and scholars to make the most of their time there.

A devoted family man, Bob met his wife Cathy Callaway, herself an accomplished professional in the field, when they both studied classics at MU where their son, not surprisingly, also majored in classics, as well as in political science. The family enjoyed traveling together, most notably to Greece, where they enjoyed three different sabbatical  years, the last one in 2005-06.

Until just weeks before he passed away, Bob was working on two projects:  an update of William Parrish’s Westminster College, An Informal History (with Margot McMillen) and an analysis  (with Cathy Callaway) of a Greek funeral stele (2nd-3rd century A.D.) dedicated to Heliodora in the Museum of Art and Archaeology at MU.   He never lost his zeal for research, and his love of teaching.

The proud tradition of classics in the “Show Me” state is honored to acknowledge, with abundant admiration, the life and legacy of a talented exemplar of our profession, a true kalos kagathos for whom more modern adjectives seem especially appropriate:   learned, kind, thoughtful, and brave.

(Written by Cathy Callaway)

ROBERT ADAM SEELINGER died on September 22, 2018, on his father’s birthday, after a four- and a-half-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington DC on October 16, 1951. An Eagle Scout, he attended Rogers High School in Newport, Rhode Island, and Dickinson College, in Pennsylvania. He spent his junior year in Rome. He received an MA from Brown University, and a PhD in Classics and Classical Archaeology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1981. Seelinger learned Latin at an early age and continued to read, write, and teach it his whole life. He was also a scholar of ancient Greek, and during his three sabbatical years in Greece he became fluent in Modern Greek.

He moved to Columbia, MO in 1974 to pursue his PhD in the Department of Classical Studies. He started teaching Latin and other Classics courses part-time at Westminster College in 1979. The position became full-time and tenure-track in 1981.

From 1999-2005 he served as Dean of Faculty and Vice President of the College. He was a leader in the initiative to start a Westminster campus in Mesa, AZ and was grateful for the support and dedication of all those who were involved in that project. He was gratified by the fact that many of the Mesa students continued their Westminster experience on the Fulton campus. He was deeply moved by the retirement celebration he shared with other colleagues in 2016.

He is survived by his wife, Cathy Callaway, his son, Nicholas Seelinger, his sister, Barbara (Robert) Beebe of Middletown RI, and nephew Adam Carter of Tacoma WA, and two great nephews. He also leaves behind a beloved host of relatives on Cathy’s side that consider him family; several were present at his peaceful death in his home. Thanks to the people at Hospice Compassus and Dr. Anna Hulbert for making this possible. We would also like to thank ALL the health care professionals, at the University Hospital in Columbia, at Mayo in Rochester MN, at Barnes in St Louis, and the Emergency Technicians in Fulton, who showed such compassion, care, and expertise every time they worked with him to cope with the challenges of this disease.

Celebration of Robert's life will be 2:00 pm Sunday, October 21, 2018 at the Church of St. Mary Aldermanbury located on the Westminster College Campus, 501 Westminster Ave. in Fulton, Missouri. A reception will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be directed to either Westminster College, Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, or the Fulton Soup Kitchen c/o Debo Funeral Home, 833 Court Street, Fulton, Missouri 65251.

---

(Photo: "Candle" by Shawn Carpenter, licensed under CC BY 2.0)   

Categories

Follow SCS News for information about the SCS and all things classical.

Use this field to search SCS News
Select a category from this list to limit the content on this page.

Dear friends, sympathizers and fellow classicists,

In 2012, the Faculty of Arts decided to gradually cut down Latin as a major subject. However, the detailed budget plan now anticipates the abandonment of all Latin courses, as well as the introductory courses of Ancient Greek and most subjects relating to classical culture. By this radical cutting off of the classical roots, the faculty loses an essential component to the understanding of western philosophy, art, history, language and literature.

By this petition, we ask the preservation in the long term of one Latin professorship at the Free University of Brussels. We are convinced that such position can serve the purpose of not only the faculty of arts, but also the entire university community.

To sign the petition click: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/557/100/788/quo-vadis-vub-zonder-latijn-free-university-of-brussels-without-latin/

"Qui tacet, consentire videtur".

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 5:39am by .

Steven Perkins, Latin teacher since 1998 at North Central High School in Indianapolis, has been named Teacher of the Year by the Indianapolis Department of Education.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 10/08/2013 - 1:32am by Adam Blistein.

The following members were chosen in the elections held this Summer. They take office on January 5, 2014, except for the two new members of the Nominating Committee who take office immediately.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 9:15pm by .

The Vergilian Society has posted two calls for proposals, one for Tour Directors for 2015 and beyond, and the other for Directors of the Symposium Cumanum for 2015.  These calls invite applications to become involved in the Society’s future programming.

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:46pm by Adam Blistein.

From The Economist:

"WHEN Pope Benedict XVI resigned in February he used Latin, giving a scoop to Giovanna Chirri, the only journalist present who understood his words. That was a timely reminder of Latin’s unlikely survival—and revival—as a living language. Radio Bremen, a German station, has broadcast a weekly news roundup called Nuntii Latini Septimanales since 2001. Finland’s YLE Radio 1 has run a similar show since 1989, with listeners in over 80 countries.

"Twitter’s 140-character epigraphs and aphorisms are ideal for Latin: five words can often say more than ten English ones, notes David Butterfield, a Latinist at the University of Cambridge. Tweets also leave no room for troublesome long subordinate clauses. The Pontifex Latin account has gained 132,000 followers since Benedict XVI started it in January. It is run by the Vatican’s Office of Latin Letters—perhaps the only modern workplace where the language of Virgil is still the lingua franca."

Read more…

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:42pm by Information Architect.

The Department of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with the support of the UMass College of Humanities and Fine Arts and the Departments of Classics of Amherst College, Mt. Holyoke College, and Smith College, will host a one-day colloquium on the theme "Speaking of the Republic: Lucilius and his Contexts," Friday, October 25, 2013. Speakers are Anna Chahoud (Trinity College Dublin), "Colloquial Registers and Generic Stylization in Lucilius"; Sander Goldberg (UCLA), "Lucilius and the poetarum seniorum turba"; Angelo Mercado (Grinnell College), "Notes on Meter and Language in Lucilius"; and Brian Breed (UMass Amherst), "Lucilius' Books."

The full conference program can be viewed at http://umass.academia.edu/BrianWBreed/Events.

A registration fee of $20 includes lunch and refreshments. Dinner is also available for an additional cost.

To register or with any questions, please contact the organizers: Brian Breed (bbreed@classics.umass.edu) and Rex Wallace (rwallace@classics.umass.edu).

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:40pm by .

At the Joint Annual Meeting in Seattle in January 2013 the Placement Committee organized a panel on nonacademic employment opportunities for Ph.D.s in Classics and Archaeology.  Follow this link (https://placement.apaclassics.org/alternative-employment) to read about the panel, hear audio clips of the presentations, and see a list of resources discussed at the panel.

We are very grateful to Committee Chair, David Potter, and his colleagues Betsey Robinson and Mike Lippman for their work in organizing this session.  Thanks are also due to the seven speakers who gave us permission to offer their talks online.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:12pm by .

The automated system for the 2013-2014 APA Placement Service is now open and accepting registrations by candidates, subscribers, and institutions.  As was the case last year, registrants will need to create an account and then purchase the service(s) they wish.  Registrants who used the Service last year may (but are not required to) adopt the same username and password as before; however, they will still need to create a new account

Please read these detailed instructions for registering for the service and taking advantage of its features. 

Please note the following important changes in the service this year.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 9:10pm by Adam Blistein.

In the recent election, the members voted to accept the recommendation of the Board of Directors that we should change the name of our organization to “Society for Classical Studies”, with “Founded in 1869 as the American Philological Association” as a permanent subtitle.  In keeping with the truly remarkable dedication and commitment of our membership, 43% of our members voted in this election, at a time when other learned societies report that only 10-15% of their members typically vote in online elections and ballots.  This is the highest participation rate that our Executive Director, Adam Blistein, has seen in the fourteen years of his tenure, and it is probably the highest ever.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 09/25/2013 - 3:44pm by Adam Blistein.

With great sadness, the members of the Department of Classics at Grand Valley State University mourn the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Barbara Flaschenriem.

Barbara passed away on August 15, 2013, at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, following a long illness. Initially appointed in the Department of English in 1998, she became a founding member of the Department of Classics in 2000.

Professor Flaschenriem held the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining Grand Valley, she held faculty appointments at Seton Hall University and Yale University. Her teaching and scholarship were informed by aspects of feminist theory focusing upon representations of women in Roman literature and society. Her writing was marked by great subtlety and intellectual grace. Colleagues and students cherished her unassuming but wry demeanor and her intense passion in the classroom. Prof. Flaschenriem was at work on a monumental study of the Roman poet Propertius that was left uncompleted at her death.

A memorial gathering was held at the Alumni House on GVSU's Allendale campus on Sunday, September 8.

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Sun, 09/15/2013 - 9:13pm by .

Pages

Latest Stories

Calls for Papers
Preliminary CfP: Edited Volume on “Cicero in Greece, Greece in Cicero”

© 2020, Society for Classical Studies Privacy Policy