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In memoriam: David Ralph Hershberg (1935-2002).

Dr. David R. Hershberg's many friends and colleagues lament his loss resulting from a long battle with multiple myeloma, a deadly form of bone cancer on December 22, 2002. David Hershberg's prolonged fight with that lethal ailment symbolized his lifelong determination and purposefulness.

David Hershberg received his formal academic training at the University of Michigan where he received both a Bachelor of Arts in Italian in 1957 and a PhD in Romance languages in 1965. In 1958, he received a Master's degree in Spanish from Harvard. David spent his junior year at the University of Florence where he received the Certificato di studi in 1957.

Wayne State University first appointed David Hershberg as an Assistant Professor of Spanish and Italian where he served from 1962-1965. From this position, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign appointed him Assistant Professor of Spanish and Italian where he was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. After spending 11 years (1965-1976) at Illinois, he accepted the position of Department Chair at the University of Louisville's Department of Classical and Modern Languages at the rank of Full Professor in 1976. He served in this capacity until 1986 when he accepted the position of Director of International Programs (1986-1993). Following seven very successful years as an administrator in international education, David elected to return to the Department of Classical and Modern Languages until his untimely retirement in 1998.

During his twenty-two years at the University of Louisville, David Hershberg taught Spanish, Italian, and Humanities courses. Throughout his academic career, he led students on numerous memorable study abroad programs to Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, Perugia, Italy, and Quito, Ecuador His students admired and loved David because of his gentleness and his sincere enthusiasm for teaching.

David's service to the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, the College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Louisville, the Louisville community, and the profession are indeed renowned among his colleagues. In recognition of his hard work and his professionalism, David received several significant grants from the United States Information Agency for his proposal on "Business in Russia." These and other grants from that agency were quite large. Moreover, such big grants relatively rare in the Humanities. David, of course, managed them with his customary care and sense of responsibility. These awards benefited the Louisville community significantly and they enhanced Louisville's international profile. David Hershberg also served as President of the Louisville International Culture Center of which he was a founding member.

David's scholarly activities include the book Los `Errores celebrados' de Juan de Zabaleta (Clasicos castellanos 169 [Madrid: Espasa-Calpe, 1972]) plus numerous journal articles on Italian and Spanish literature. David's unique gift for analysis and synthesis were always evident in his frequent discussion of the interrelationship of the literatures of Spain and Italy.

His family, friends, and colleagues were continually astonished at his work ethic, his vigor, and the consistent high quality of all of his professional work. Indeed, David had no peer.

For those interested in commemorating Dr. David R. Hershberg, donations may be made in his name to the Hershberg Award for Excellence (University of Louisville Foundation, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292).
FRANK NUESSEL
University of Louisville
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Author:Nuessel, Frank
Publication:Italica
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Mar 22, 2003
Words:530
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