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In Memoriam: Eugene August

By Michelle Tedford

Eugene August, professor emeritus of English who was a pioneer in the men’s studies movement, died Saturday, July 25. He was 84.

August taught on campus from 1966 to 1998. While his major field of focus was Victorian poetry and prose, he was also committed to Greek drama and what he called “Divine Comedies.” August was an early advocate of men’s studies, including coordinating Men’s Awareness Week campus events. In 1998, the NBC television special “The American Male” highlighted August’s course Modern Men: Images and Reality.

Active in curriculum development across campus, August was instrumental in establishing the University’s Study Abroad Program and helped found the interdisciplinary CORE program in the 1980s and new humanities requirements for first-year students in the 1990s. He was named Alumni Chair in the Humanities in 1993. He received the Alumni Association’s Professor of the Year award in 1970; the citation noted his “outstanding record as a teacher and national reputation as a research scholar.” His family describes him as a devout Catholic who was passionate about integrating Christianity with his educational mission.

James Farrelly, an English department colleague, said both he and August were “Jersey boys” who came to teach at UD in the 1960s.

“Gene was a mentor, a colleague and a good friend,” Farrelly said. “He served with distinction as a teacher, scholar and advocate for the arts and humanities. I feel honored and privileged to have worked side-by-side with him, and I lament the loss of this giant who carried his colleagues on his shoulders as we honed our trade. Ave atque et vale to our ‘lost leader.’ I miss him already.”

August was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara, in 2002, and is survived by family members including sons Robert ’89 and James ’91. Memories are being collected online by Tobias Funeral Home.

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