Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Memoriam: Gerald F. Hawthorne

We just received word on campus that professor emeritus of Greek, Gerald F. Hawthorne, has passed away.  He had been in hospice care for the past month or so.

I'm not personally familiar with Hawthorne's scholarship, never having had a course with him and not being in biblical studies.  Initially, I knew him during my time working as a student at the College cafe, where he would often come with his grandson and order ice cream.  We would chat, but at the time I wasn't aware of his academic career.  It was only when I attended the inaugural lecture of Karen Jobes for the Gerald F. Hawthorne Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis that I realized the guy standing with his wife to receive applause and bless the holder of his namesake chair was the same one who talked with me over ice cream at least once a week in the basement cafe next door.  Since working on staff in the library I have continued to run into him regularly, as he had an office across the hall from where I work.  Our interactions over these past few years have mostly involved brief "hello's" and my helping him with the copying machine, but for others he obviously had a deeper impact- you could always hear Dr. Hawthorne bellowing on the phone to someone or laughing in a similarly loud fashion with a visitor.

The blog of the Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections has revived one of their earlier posts on Hawthorne and a regular gathering he started with Art Rupprecht (under whom I did have a class) in commemoration of his death.

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