LWC Community Mourns the Loss of Beloved English Professor Mark Dunphy
Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 [9:43 AM]
Beloved LWC Professor of English Mark Dunphy
passed away suddenly on Monday, Dec. 12. He was 66. Dunphy had
served Lindsey Wilson for more than 24 years. His area of expertise
included authors Herman Melville, Nathaniel
Hawthorne, James Joyce and Jack Kerouac. His work
often received attention both nationally and
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Longtime Lindsey Wilson College English
Professor Mark R. Dunphy, a literary scholar with a deep devotion
to his discipline and to teaching, died suddenly on Monday, Dec.
12. He was 66.
"He was a brilliant man with a passion for his students
and his discipline," LWC President William T. Luckey Jr said. "I
remember him as a person who had a love for Herman Melville and
Moby-Dick and one who presented frequently at national conferences
on topics that were tied to this obsession."
Dunphy arrived at LWC in the fall of 1992. He quickly
earned a reputation among students as a professor who pushed them
to see familiar subjects in new and different ways.
"I obviously have a passion for literature," said Dunphy
in a 2000 interview. "So I try to convey the passion I have for
those writers to my students in numerous ways. Ultimately, I hope
that some of that passion will affect (the students) and compel
them to examine their lives and the world around them."
For much of his career, Dunphy wrote and presented papers to
illustrate the intellectual connections between the American
writers of the romantic period of the mid-19th century and the
American Beat writers of the mid-20th century.
His area of expertise included authors Herman Melville,
Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Joyce and Jack Kerouac. He once said
that he read Melville's Moby-Dick, which he considered to be the
great American novel, at least once a year, and one year he read it
once at the start of each season.
Dunphy's work often received attention both nationally and
abroad. He was invited by the U.S. Embassy's Cultural Affairs
Office in Rome and the Consulate General in Naples to lecture in
Italy in fall 2004.
"It's rather exciting to know that the Beats' ideas are
alive and well in Italy because they represented a movement that
was not limited to America," he said.
At LWC, Dunphy served on various academic committees, he
was past chair of the Humanities Division, and he also served as
faculty representative to the president's cabinet.
"I loved to see him on the sidewalk and to hear his
distinctive laugh as we exchanged pleasantries," Luckey said. "He
was a good man who loved this college and its mission."
And LWC students recognized Dunphy's devotion to teaching
and the Lindsey Wilson mission. In 2004-05, he was named Teacher of
the Year by the LWC Student Government Association for his
"outstanding service to the students and the mission of Lindsey
"I learned from Mark about the mission of the College and
saw in him somebody who loved and valued that mission of 'every
student, every day,'" said friend and colleague LWC Professor of
English Tim McAlpine. "He was somebody who very much cared for the
whole person. In the eighteen years that I served with him, I
always found him somebody who was concerned with me not just as a
cog in a machine that needed to run smoothly but as a person. He
provided wise, kind, insightful advice that helped me along my path
as a faculty member.
Mark Raymond Dunphy was born Feb. 13, 1950, in Boston to
John Dunphy, who preceded him in death, and Georgina Byers
Cuthbert, who survives.
Also surviving: his wife, Judith Ann Ewert Dunphy of
Columbia; a daughter, Gina (Joe) Collins of Columbia; two
step-sons, Daniel Tishar of Columbia and David Tishar of
Other survivors include: two brothers, John Dunphy of
Greenfield, Mass., and Steve Dunphy of Chicago; and two grandsons:
Miles and Luke Collins, both of Columbia.
Dunphy earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from Lone
Mountain (Calif.) College and a doctorate in English from the
University of Tulsa (Okla). Before he came to LWC, he taught at
Flaming Rainbow (Okla.) University. He was a member of the Good
Shepherd Catholic Church in Columbia, Ky.