In Memory of Darryl Gless

Darryl GlessA memorial service for Darryl James Gless, Distinguished Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus. 

With great sadness, we meet the loss of our beloved Darryl Gless. Since joining us in 1980, Darryl brought to our department and the University a spirit of generosity and an unmatched ability to lead and create. His scholarship and teaching inspired generations of students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as recognized by his receiving a University Tanner Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1983 and the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Darryl also provided a vital voice for the humanities, and he translated that voice into action as both Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature and Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities. Darryl’s tireless work in defense of the humanities garnered the attention of President Clinton, who appointed him to the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1994. Invaluable as a colleague, visionary as a leader, cherished in the classroom, Darryl embodied every aspect of what it means to be a person and professor. We celebrate his life even as we recognize just how dearly he will be missed.

Darryl Gless's family asks that memorial gifts be made to the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill. Please send checks by mail to Arts and Sciences Foundation, Campus Box 6115, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-6115, with a note in memo line (or attached correspondence) that the gift is for the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund or follow this link to make a contribution online.

The family also requests that friends consider donating blood and platelets and register as bone marrow donors in his memory. The News and Observer has posted more details about Darryl’s life and achievements.

A memorial service for Darryl will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus.  

Parking is available on Stadium Drive, and for a fee, at the Rams Head Deck.




Thomas Jefferson Award 2015: William L. Andrews

William L. Andrews, the E. Maynard Adams Professor of English & Comparative Literature, nobly incarnates the values represented by the Thomas Jefferson Award.  In 1996 returning as a distinguished professor to the department where he had earned his PhD, he intended to devote himself to his scholarship after directing the Humanities Center at the University of Kansas.  Always a remarkably productive scholar, he has nevertheless repeatedly subordinated his own work to leadership roles on our campus.  He chaired the Department of English for four years, then served as Senior Associate Dean for the Fine Arts and Humanities for seven.  In 2009-11 he co-chaired the massive endeavor to develop and write UNC’s five-year academic plan. 

It would be difficult to overstate the magnitude of his investment in the University and all its citizens—staff, students, and faculty—as a Senior Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, most especially during the worst of the budget crisis erupting seven years ago.  Not merely keeping the ship afloat, he raised funds for new initiatives, including large interdisciplinary grants from the Mellon Foundation that have supported graduate fellowships, faculty research, and visionary collaborative opportunities such as the Medieval and Early Modern Studies program (MEMS) and the Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative.

Andrews’s abundant, seminal scholarship in African American literature and culture deserves special recognition.  He entered the developing field early, when it took notable courage and commitment to the field’s importance for a white scholar to establish himself as an undisputed leader.  He focused attention on slave narratives when few understood the cultural and literary importance of this unrecognized body of work.  His archival research made an invaluable trove of previously unavailable slave narratives accessible to the world through UNC’s Documenting the American South web archive.  A recent national conference of the premier interdisciplinary organization for 19th-century American studies devoted a panel to the slave narrative in order to honor Bill Andrews’s groundbreaking scholarship.  With his customary modesty, he deflected the praise of six distinguished panelists who credited his work for making their own possible.  Dismissing his many academic accolades, Bill described the one tribute he treasures as a testament that his work matters.  A member of a small Southern church, a woman who owned the only computer in a congregation of about 100, thanked Bill Andrews for making available to her and the 25 children in the congregation a rich segment of their history.

His reach beyond academia, the role of his work in restoring a heritage of triumphs and meaning to a race too often reminded of bitter defeat and marginalization, reveal that Bill Andrews has extended the vision of Jeffersonian democracy to include people whom Jefferson himself was unable to include fully in the grace of America. 

Bravo, Bill Andrews, inspirational leader and scholar!


"Shakespeare in Performance" with The UNC Honors Summer Program

The UNC Honors Summer Program in London and Oxford runs for six weeks from mid-June to late July, the first three centered on UNC's Winston House adjacent to the British Museum, then moving to St Edmund Hall, an Oxford College originating in the 13th century.

The "Shakespeare in Performance" course requires attending 9 or 10 plays, mostly by Shakespeare with one or two by playwrights such as Ben Jonson, O'Neill, Pinter, and four papers plus a final exam. Minimum GPA is 3.0 (Students who have previously passed English 225, "Shakespeare," earn credit for an Honors Course.) 













Classes take place four days a week, with free weekends Friday through Sunday which allow individual travel to Scotland, Paris, etc. At St Edmund Hall weekday meals are included in the Program cost. Professor Christopher Armitage has been involved in directing this Program or earlier versions since 1975. He is a graduate of Oxford and since 2013 an Honorary St Edmund Fellow.  For details on costs and enrolling, consult Ms Gina Difino at (919)962-9680 or


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