Generations of students, undergraduates and graduates, and faculty remember Derek fondly not only for helping them to navigate IU rules and regulations (he was truly gifted at cutting through bureaucratic red tape), but for making them feel welcome as part of the classics community here. His personal warmth and wonderful sense of humor set all at ease, and helped create an environment in which students and faculty felt supported and appreciated. When former students and faculty returned to visit campus, they regularly sought out Derek as an individual whom they identified closely with the department, and their years at IUB.
Although as a member of the faculty I always appreciated Derek’s contributions, as department chair over the past twelve years I worked closely with Derek and came to appreciate him even more for his investment in, and commitment to, the department. He diplomatically and politely showed me the ropes as new chair, as he had done with many previous chairs, and worked with me throughout my years as chair as a colleague seeking to advance the department’s best interests. Derek’s formal duties were substantial, as he served as scheduling officer with responsibility for planning our course offerings each semester and as fiscal officer, who not only managed daily transactions but departmental endowment and scholarship funds. But he went well beyond the terms of his job description in supporting Classical Studies. Derek was our de facto departmental historian who kept careful track of information concerning our department’s nearly two hundred-year history on campus; he was a liaison with the many alumni who passed through the department during his tenure; he was active in expanding the department’s endowment and scholarship funds, and was instrumental in securing commitments from departmental benefactors.
While Derek faced significant health challenges, especially in recent years, he cheerfully continued to carry out his many tasks, formal and informal, and was a model of how to live a productive and meaningful life.
We are grateful to Derek for all he did for Classical Studies over the years, and cherish our happy memories of him.