Wednesday December 13, 2017

In Memoriam: Bernard J. Rice

Bernard J. Rice, professor emeritus of mathematics, died Dec. 6 after a long battle with cancer. He was 84.

Ben joined the department of mathematics in 1960 and was promoted to associate professor in 1972. He earned the rank of professor in 1979 and was awarded the title of emeritus professor upon his retirement in 1998.

Ben was an author of more than 25 mathematics textbooks, most co-authored with colleague Jerry Strange in the department of engineering technology and the department of mathematics. Starting in the late 1960s, Ben and Jerry collaborated on a number of textbooks over several decades, a collaboration that later also included colleague Carrol Schleppi, who also taught in the department of engineering technology and the department of mathematics.

In recognition of their prolific publishing careers, Ben and Jerry jointly won the Alumni Outstanding Professor Award in 1978, an honor that was the forerunner of the current Faculty Award in Scholarship.

“The University of Dayton is a better place today because of the 38 years Ben was on the faculty,” Strange said.

Ben was deeply involved in university governance. He was a member of the Faculty Forum, which preceded the Faculty Senate. In the 1970s, Ben was a member of the committee charged with writing the constitution for the Faculty Senate. He served as an elected member of the Senate for many years, served on the Faculty Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, and was an active member of AAUP.

Outside of his academic work, Ben was a runner and a bicyclist who participated in marathons and long-distance biking events. He was also a movie enthusiast, and became a moderator for the University of Dayton Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in 2003.

A Mass of celebration will take place at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at the Church of the Incarnation, 7415 Far Hills Ave. in Centerville, Ohio. Family will receive friends at 10:15 a.m., and a reception will be held immediately following Mass in the Parish Center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Hospice of Dayton or a charity of one’s choosing.

- Wiebke Diestelkamp, chair, department of mathematics

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