In Memoriam: Glen Strauch Elder, Ph.D., May 4, 1967 - May 21, 2009
- By Department staff
We at the Geography Department at the University of Vermont (UVM) are greatly saddened by the sudden death on Thursday, May 21 of our friend, colleague, past chair, and associate dean, Glen Elder. Many of you know Glen for his rigorous, critical, and innovative work on queer space, heteronormativity, masculinities, race, bodies, borders in the post-9/11 context, and more general critical political geographies. Glen's quick wit, snappy dressing, wry comments, and infectious laugh resonated with all of us. Glen was an amazing teacher, receiving the most prestigious teaching awards at UVM and consistently generating the highest student accolades. Even years after they took it, our students would list Glen's course on Africa or Political Geography as the best and most influential class they had taken. Glen repeatedly supported students outside the classroom too by advocating for LBGTQ students on campus and supporting queer youth and people living with HIV/AIDS through his engagement with numerous local and state organizations, most significantly Vermont CARES (Committee for AIDS Resources, Education, and Services). Glen was also a phenomenal colleague; he was unfailingly supportive of junior and senior colleagues both professionally and personally, whether it was bringing a welcome basket of goodies to a newly arrived assistant professor or writing and eloquent and compelling letter of support for someone's tenure package. In his positions as department chair (2005-2008) and more recently as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Glen worked doggedly and successfully to recruit faculty of color, women, and LGBT scholars into the UVM community. His commitments to confronting issues of power and marginalization saturated every realm of his life and we are the richer for them. Information about Glen's scholarship and publications can be seen on his website. A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 25 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at Ira Allen Chapel with a reception immediately following from 3:00-4:30 in Billings. It will be a time when the entire UVM community along with other friends and colleagues can gather to honor Glen's life. Information with details about a UVM memorial fund established in Glen's honor will be announced in the near future.