June 21-July 12, 2002
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Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Dante Germino dies in train accident
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Dante Germino dies in train accident

By Katherine Jackson

Dante L. Germino, 70, an internationally known political scientist and professor emeritus of government and foreign affairs, died May 25 in Amsterdam in a train accident.

Germino joined the U.Va. faculty in 1968 as a member of the Center for Advanced Studies and assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences. He resigned from the deanship in 1984 and continued teaching until 1997. Since his retirement from U.Va., he taught at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands and the University of Bangkok in Thailand. In his career, he also lived and taught in the Philippines, Italy, Germany and Great Britain.

Born in Durham, N.C., Germino earned master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University, and was an associate professor at Wellesley College prior to coming to Virginia. He was a member of the Rockefeller Foundation field staff, and a Rockefeller visiting professor at the University of Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University. He spent three years in the Philippines working on a Rockefeller Foundation project to develop Filipino universities.

At U.Va., he won the Z Society’s Medallion for Distinguished Teaching and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Germino’s chief research interests included political theory and Italian politics. He wrote seven books and nearly 50 articles on the history of political theory and Italian politics, and in 1980 organized the first international Seminar for Philosophy and Political Theory in Italy.

Germino’s Modern Western Political Thought: Machiavelli to Marx (1972) developed his concept of the open society. That idea became the subject of an Italian conference he organized in 1972 for the Rockefeller Foundation.

In his 1982 book, Political Philosophy and the Open Society, he urged political theorists and practitioners to become open to “divine reality.” He advocated a renewed openness to spirituality in political philosophy and political institutions.

Other books included Antonio Gramsci: Architect of a New Politics (1990), The Inaugural Addresses of American Presidents: The Public Philosophy and Rhetoric (1983), The Italian Fascist Party in Power (1959), Beyond Ideology: The Revival of Political Theory (1967) and The Government and Politics of Contemporary Italy (1968).

Germino is survived by five children.

A funeral service was held May 31 in Amsterdam. A U.Va. memorial service will be held at a later date.


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