Contributed by Professor Jamie Romm, Bard College:
William (Bill) Mullen, professor of classics at Bard College, died suddenly on Nov. 2, 2 days before he would have turned 71.
Bill earned his B.A. degree from Harvard and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His doctoral dissertation was titled “Pindar’s Aeginetans,” a study of the odes for Aeginetan victors. Bill published a book on Pindar, "Choreia: Pindar and Dance," (Princeton 1982), in which he made a bold attempt to reimagine the choreography of the danced epinician poems.
Bill was beloved of many students at Bard in the 32 years he taught there, and built the college's Classics program virtually ex nihilo. He came to Bard as associate professor of classics in 1985, after earlier stints at Boston University and St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He was a devotee of oral recitation of ancient verse and participated actively in The Readers of Homer, a nonprofit organization that sponsors audience-participation readings of the Homeric epics. In 2013–14, he served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy, an honor of which he was particularly proud.
Bill Mullen was an exemplar of cross-disciplinary teaching and study, ever fascinated by the connections and parallels between the Greco-Roman world and the civilizations of ancient Egypt, China, India, and the Near East. His absence will be deeply felt at Bard and beyond.