In Memoriam: Norman McKendrick, S.J.

Highligher & Laureate, Summer 2002

Norman G. McKendrick, S.J. served the University for more than forty years as a professor, administrator and religious leader. He taught English composition and literature, Greek and Latin classics, comparative literature, the structure and function of myth, and epic and early drama. McKendrick's publications dealt with modern poetry, folk singers, and the texts of the Greek fathers. A graduate of Harvard's IEM program, he earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Loyola of Chicago, a Ph.D. from Fordham, and licentiates from West Baden Pontifical University. He joined the University in 1962.

"Fr. McKendrick was an amazingly kind and gentle spirit," said John Freeman, chair of English at the University of Detroit Mercy, and a longtime colleague of McKendrick. "His students always spoke highly of him--his intelligence, his humor, and his engaging ways. He was an extraordinarily gifted teacher and a wonderful, considerate colleague. Even in his declining years, he persevered through great physical challenges in holding his classes and meeting with the students he loved. A natural teacher, he lived to teach. His greatest disappointment occurred when he could no longer teach, and I know he must have passed away secure in the knowledge that he had well fulfilled life's greatest calling."

Maureen A. Fay, O.P., president of UDM, added, "Most of Father McKendrick's Jesuit life was dedicated to the University and its students. He generously shared his multiple talents as teacher, scholar, administrator and for more than 20 years as the faculty moderator to Alpha Sigma Nu, the National Jesuit Honor Society."

Students and friends added to the fond memories of McKendrick's years on campus, with reflections such as the following:

"Fr. McKendrick was an outstanding teacher and he was one of the most approachable professors. He had the utmost concern for his students learning how to write and appreciate language as he did."

"A student didn't feel badly when he got a paper back with a different grade than he thought he deserved because Fr. McKendrick took such care and concern in grading his papers and providing positive, helpful comments.

"Fr. McKenrick loved the Detroit Red Wings. He always talked about the 1950s Red Wings team. I'm sure he's talking to Terry Sawchuk right now."

McKendrick had moved from Lansing-Reilly to Columbiere in 2002 for health reasons. He passed away June 13.