Jan. 16-29, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 1
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Coming soon — Special Collections Library
Legislators back slow growth
Wilkinson, Walker win coveted Thomas Jefferson Medals
Former A&S dean dies
Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign
Digest — U.Va. News Daily

Headlines @ U.Va.

U.Va.’s black graduation rate again best in nation
Windscape wind quartet blows onto Grounds Feb. 3
Islam through calligraphy
Feb. 2: State of African-American Affairs

Former A&S dean dies
Kellogg remembered for gentle nature

Robert Kellogg By Katherine Jackson

Robert Kellogg, who served the University for more than four decades, died Jan. 3 of a liver-related illness. He was 75.

Described as an uncommonly gentle and kind man, Kellogg was a professor of English from 1957 until 1967, chairman of the English department from 1974 to 1978, and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences from 1978 to 1985. He was the first principal of Brown College at Monroe Hill from 1985 to 1999.

“His work was uncompromisingly excellent, and he took on the hard assignments in his discipline — the difficult and esoteric languages, the most exacting kind of editorial scholarship, the large concepts that defied first analysis, yet led to long steps forward,” said President John T. Casteen III, who was a student of Kellogg’s.

Born in Ionia County, Mich., Kellogg received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland.

He was an early advocate of coeducation and the inclusion of African-American students in the University.

A scholar of Medieval English literature with wide-ranging interests and knowledge, he developed expertise in works that extended from the Middle Ages in several languages to James Joyce. Kellogg was also an expert on Icelandic literature, and after retiring from U.Va., he was a visiting professor at the University of Iceland in 1999 and 2001.

Kellogg studied Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to research forms of medieval Icelandic narrative. He was probably best known for “A Nature of Narrative,” a 1966 work with his then-colleague Robert Scholes that traces the development of story-telling from Homer to innovations in the 20th century. It became an almost instant classic as a work of criticism and continues to be used in college classrooms today. He also researched the poetry of Edmund Spenser and made its language more accessible to students and advanced scholars.

When not engaged in scholarly pursuits, Kellogg gardened, one of his favorite hobbies. “I am pretty interested in rhododendrons and azaleas,” he said in a 1987 interview. “I have about 150 to 200 varieties of [them] in my garden,” said Kellogg, who was active in Charlottesville’s rhododendron society for nearly 40 years.

According to Casteen, Kellogg “smiled and laughed comfortably and well. For these many good qualities and much more, we miss him, and we honor him for what he has meant to us.”

Plans for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.


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