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  • Barbara F. McManus
  • Mary Brown, Judith P. Hallett, Maria Marsilio, and Ann Raia

Barbara F. McManus passed away in the early morning of June 19, 2015, from complications related to cancer. Her death is a particularly painful loss to CAAS. She served our organization in many capacities with a rare combination of dedication and vision: as president in 2005 and webmaster from 2005–2010; and as a member of its Awards and Program Committees. CAAS was proud to honor her with an ovatio in 2001 and again in 2011 by establishing the Barbara F. McManus Leadership Award.

After graduating from The College of New Rochelle summa cum laude in 1964, Barbara joined its faculty in 1967 while still a graduate student in comparative literature at Harvard, which awarded her a Ph.D. in 1975. Before retiring as a full professor in 2000, she made a distinctive mark on the college’s academic landscape by teaching innovative courses in classics, comparative literature, and women’s studies; directing the writing program in its School of Arts and Sciences; and leading efforts to integrate technology into classroom teaching.

Barbara’s impressive roster of vanguard scholarly publications includes books on women in early modern England, feminist theory and classics, and the pioneering American classicist Grace Harriet Macurdy (forthcoming from The Ohio State University Press in 2017), as well as articles in several learned journals. In 2012 the Women’s Classical Caucus, for which she labored impressively as co-chair and secretary-treasurer, recognized her outstanding achievements in research by launching the annual Barbara McManus Award for the best published article in gender studies each year. In 2016 Barbara became the first recipient of the Women’s Classical Caucus Leadership Award that was established in 2013. She won major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and her NEH-funded Teaching with Technology initiative led to the creation of the VRoma Project, a virtual city and community for classics students worldwide, on which she collaborated closely with her longtime College of New Rochelle classics colleague Ann Raia. In 1994 she received The College of New Rochelle Alumnae Association’s Ursula Laurus award and in 2014 its Woman of Achievement award as a shining example of the college’s motto, “Wisdom for Life.” In 2012, with the support of grants from the National Science Foundation and CAAS itself, the Classics Department at the University of Maryland, College [End Page 547] Park, hosted an international interdisciplinary conference in her name to recognize her scholarship and teaching. On the day of her death Adam Blistein, Executive Director of the Society of Classical Studies (formerly the American Philological Association), posted on the Society’s web site a warm and moving tribute to Barbara’s valuable contributions from 1983 onwards. She served on its Committees for the Status of Women and Minorities and its ad hoc Committee on Outreach and Outreach Prize; on its Board of Directors; and as its Vice President for Professional Matters, where she singlehandedly created the APA census on classics department staffing and enrollments. In 2009 the APA honored her with its Distinguished Service Award for her extraordinary achievements on behalf of our discipline and profession. Barbara’s devoted work for CAAS on many fronts, and in particular her generous support of CAAS colleagues, ranks high among her stellar accomplishments. According to an ancient Greek maxim, the measure of one’s life is not its length but its goodness. Barbara F. McManus—exemplary daughter, sister, wife, mother, colleague, scholar and beloved friend—illustrates those words in all that she has done and been. Her invincible spirit abides, and we strive to fulfill the ideals that she so memorably embodied. [End Page 548]



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