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)   

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The National Humanities Center offers up to 40 residential fellowships for advanced study in the humanities for academic-year or semester-long residencies.  In addition to scholars from all fields of the humanities, the Center welcomes individuals from the natural and social sciences, the arts, the professions, and public life who are engaged in humanistic projects.  The Center is international and gladly accepts applications from scholars outside the United States.  Most of the Center's fellowships are unrestricted. Several, however, are designated for particular areas of research, including:

  • Philosophy
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  • English Literature
  • Art  History
  • Asian Studies
  • Theology

Located in the progressive Triangle region of North Carolina, the Center affords access to the rich cultural and intellectual communities supported by the area's many research institutes and universities. The Center's home in Research Triangle Park fosters individual research and the exchange of ideas.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 4:01pm by Adam Blistein.

We have posted the papers from the panel that the Committee on Ancient History organized for the 2014 annual meeting in Chicago.   Georgia Tsouvala organized the panel entitled History in Classics/Classics in History.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:24am by Adam Blistein.

The 2013-2014 Placement Service season is about to end; so, the portal is no longer accepting new registrations from candidates.  Please join us in a few weeks for the 2014-2015 Placement Year and for interviewing at the 2015 New Orleans Annual Meeting.  Early next week we will publish the June 2014 issue of Positions for Classicists and Archaeologists.  After that, all positions advertised during the current academic year will be available at this URL

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:07am by Adam Blistein.

The NPR news program, All Things Considered, recently featured an interview with Peter Meineck of the Aquila Theatre Company and the actors he has assembled for a new performance of Philoctetes that casts a woman in the lead role and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in the chorus.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 4:45pm by Adam Blistein.
As Teaching Classical Languages enters its fifth year of publication and as the standards for online publication metamorphose before our eyes, it seems a good time to take stock of how our readers access the journal. How are your reading habits changing? In what formats do you read academic articles? On what devices do you read the sort of research and practical advice contained in TCL? Please click on https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Z2M75SD and take our brief five-minute survey and let us know how we can redesign TCL to be more responsive to your needs.  
 
Thanks so much,
John Gruber-Miller
Editor
 
View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 4:29pm by Adam Blistein.

For the last annual meeting in Chicago, the Committee on Education organized a panel entitled "Classics and Study Abroad".  Click here to read organizer Eric Dugdale's introduction to the panel as well as abstracts of the five talks that cover various aspects of this important aspect of studying Classics.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 06/09/2014 - 4:10pm by Adam Blistein.

The summer is in full swing for most of us and those who for whatever personal or institutional reason (try to) maintain a research program are turning our thoughts to what we want to accomplish before classes start again. It’s exciting to be able to devote ourselves more fully to our writing and research, but the summer poses not only that opportunity but its own set of challenges: with so much unstructured time and so many appealing distractions it can easily slip away.

View full article. | Posted in on Fri, 06/06/2014 - 1:35pm by Curtis Dozier.

Two long-time SCS members were among the 33 scholars and leaders in other fields elected this year to membership in the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the United States.  They are

  • Sarah B. Pomeroy, Distinguished Professor of Classics and History Emerita, City University of New York
  • Richard J. Tarrant, Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, Harvard University

We congratulate Professors Pomeroy and Tarrant on this high honor.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 06/04/2014 - 8:45am by Adam Blistein.

In accordance with the Board’s direction, yesterday Executive Director Adam Blistein submitted the filings necessary for the legal change of the Association’s name to Society for Classical Studies.  We are, of course, announcing the advent of this transition first to the membership; but will also distribute a press release to relevant organizations, publications, and individuals within and outside the field of Classical Studies.  We expect to receive confirmation of the name change from the State of Delaware (where we are incorporated) in about a week, and the new name will gradually appear in stationery and our credit card and checking accounts over the coming month.

I am pleased to share with you the new logo in the attached PowerPoint document that shows several versions of the logo as it will appear in various media and on our new stationery.  As directed by the Board, the Name Change Committee began planning for our organizational transition to the Society for Classical Studies and started the process of logo design in October 2013.  We have devoted almost eight months to this effort in order to give the transition the careful deliberation warranted by such a momentous change.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 05/29/2014 - 8:59am by .

The Pontificium Institutum Altioris Latinitatis of the Salesian Pontifical University will be organizing an International Conference on the vitality of Latin and the methods to teach and learn it: “Studia Latinitatis provehenda. Vitalità del latino ed esperienze didattiche”.  The conference marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Institute and will be held in Rome from 7th to 8th November 2014.  For further information, please write to convegnolatinitas@unisal.it

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Mon, 05/26/2014 - 8:45pm by Adam Blistein.

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