George W. Bahlke Papers
- Creation: 1960
- Creation: September 1, 1962
- Creation: Undated
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Biographical / Historical
"Professor of English Emeritus George Bahlke died on Feb. 1 of complications from pneumonia. He was 76 and, although retired, was a frequent presence on campus.
"Bahlke joined the Kirkland College faculty in 1969 and was a beloved professor on College Hill for more than three decades. He retired in 2002 but continued to teach, most recently in the fall of 2006. Bahlke’s field was 20th- century British and Irish literature, in particular the writings of Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forster. He held bachelor’s degrees from the University of Chicago and Swarthmore College, a master’s degree from Chicago and a Ph.D. from Yale. The George Bahlke Faculty Travel Prize was established in George’s honor by his wife, family and friends when he retired.
“George was warm and caring. He created an engaging and intellectually challenging environment in his classroom. In 1992, in recognition of the esteem in which he was held by his students, he was named the inaugural recipient of the Class of 1962 Teaching Award. George’s response, upon learning of the honor, revealed a lot about him as a teacher, a person and a member of our community: ‘In accepting this award,’ he wrote, ‘I know I am also accepting it on behalf of the alumnae and alumni of Kirkland and Hamilton College, the administrators of the college, the staff and faculty, and the students[,] because we are all involved in a common effort to seek what truths can be rationally known as a part of helping others and ourselves to a more profound awareness of our common humanity.’”
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, those wishing may donate to the George Bahlke Travel Fund. Every member of the English department faculty honored their late colleague with a contribution to this fund, established by Bahlke’s wife Felicity Colby and his family and friends, upon the occasion of his retirement from Hamilton. The fund provides support for “... faculty travel for scholarly purposes, as it relates to the study and teaching of the Humanities at Hamilton College.”
According to English department chair Onno Oerlemans, “We all thought it would be nice to do something to honor George, and the idea of contributing to the travel fund in his name seemed like a great idea.”
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 2, at 3 p.m. in St. James Episcopal Church in Clinton, followed by a reception in the parish hall.
Postscript: On Thursday, May 26, Felicity Colby, George's wife, died peacefully after a long illness. She was the daughter of Professor of German Thomas E. Colby '42.
citation: obituary, https://www.hamilton.edu/news/story/professor-of-english-emeritus-george-bahlke-dies
.2 Linear Feet (1/4 width archive box)
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Part of the Hamilton College Archives Repository
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