Professor Emeritus Patricia Kennedy Dies


09/26/2018

Patricia Kennedy, a professor emeritus in the English Department, died Friday, September 21. She was 91.

Services are pending.

Kennedy was a member of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1968 until her retirement in 1994. She stayed active through much of her retirement, explaining a decade beyond her last year at SAU: "I golf twice a week, play bridge and like to take little trips. I just got back from the Dubuque racetrack where greed got the better of me and I lost what I had won. But I had a great time."

Kennedy received a Master of Arts degree from Catholic University, and Master of Education and Doctor of English degrees from the University of Illinois.

She came to St. Ambrose for her first assignment in higher education at an interesting time - the year St. Ambrose went co-ed.

On arrival, she lived in Cosgrove Hall, shortly after it opened as the first official residence for female students at St. Ambrose.

"She was a good person who could serve as a resource to the women living there," recalled then-St. Ambrose President Edward Rogalski, PhD. "She was a well-respected member of the faculty. Students enjoyed her as a teacher. She was highly respected and loved."

Kennedy witnessed numerous other big moments in St. Ambrose history.

"Of course, women in classes represented a big change my first year," she said. "Over the years, though, I think the things I remember are the expansion to university status and the growth in buildings and students. Particularly the non-traditional student - that has added a great dimension to our campus."

Kennedy was proud of her selection to deliver a lecture for the St. Ambrose centennial celebration and of being named to the Baecke Chair of Humanities during the 1985-86 academic year.

Kennedy was the Winter Commencement speaker in 1990 and received a Distinguished Service Award in 1993 for 25 years of service at St. Ambrose. During the Homecoming ceremonies in 1994 Kennedy was presented an Honorary Alumni award.

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