Lucille Clifton, professor emerita and former poet laureate of Maryland, died February 13, 2010, surrounded by her daughters at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at age 73. A native of Depew, New York, Lucille joined St. Mary's in 1989 and retired in 2007 after serving as a Distinguished Professor of Humanities and the Hilda C. Landers Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts. Lucille published 11 poetry collections and 20 children's books; her poems were included in over 100 anthologies. She was the first African American, and only the second woman, to serve as Maryland's Poet Laureate (1979-1985). A two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, she received the National Book Award in 2001 for Blessing the Boats: New and Selected Poems, 1988-2000, and was the first black woman to win the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in 2007. She was inducted into Maryland's Women's Hall of Fame in 1993, elected as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 1999, and received the Maryland Living History Award in 2008. Lucille inspired generations of poets through her compassionate, truth-telling intelligence, her generosity, and her commitment to
James Minor Nickell, professor emeritus, died March 11, 2010, in the Washington Home for Hospice Care in Washington, D.C., at age 80. A member of the St. Mary's faculty from 1975-1998, he had a distinguished career teaching political science in the areas of international relations, political thought, and philosophy. Born in Huntington, West Virginia, and raised in Ashland, Kentucky, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1950. As a U.S. Air Force pilot from 1951 to 1955, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He received a second bachelor's degree in sacred theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York City in 1958. Jim served in the Episcopal ministry at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and then as a minister in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. He earned his master's and Ph.D. at Duke University. At St. Mary's, Jim was chairman of the Division of History and Social Science, acting provost, and chairman of the Department of Political Science. He authored the book, The Primacy of Persons and the Language of Culture: Essays by William H. Poteat. In retirement, Jim traveled and indulged his lifelong fascination with railways. He is survived by his brother, Morton Nickell; his niece, Carol Nickell; his nephew, James Nickell and wife Lynn; and many friends, colleagues, and former students.
Harold Kenneth "Deak" Reynolds died October 17, 2009, at home in St. Mary's City, at age 88. A native of Oklahoma, he earned his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and a master's degree from Michigan State University. Deak had four different careers beginning with one in the U. S. Army which spanned World War II, the Korean War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. After retiring from the Army, he joined a Wall Street firm and was a member of the New York and American stock exchanges. In 1971, he began his career at St. Mary's as a dean, later served as executive vice president, and then as economics professor. He also was a founding director of the St. Mary's College of Maryland Foundation. After retiring from the College in 1987, Deak started his own investment management firm which he continued to run until several years before his death. Deak and his wife of 61 years, Beth, established two scholarships at St. Mary's: the Deak Reynolds Scholarship in Economics, and the Elizabeth Reynolds Scholarship in Environmental Studies. In addition to Beth, he is survived by his children, Katherine Chandler, associate professor of English at St. Mary's, Susan Reynolds, Edward Reynolds, and John Reynolds. Donations may be made to the St. Mary's College of Maryland Endowment Fund in Deak Reynolds' memory.