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July 7, 2003

Evelyn Barker, Associate Professor Emerita of Philosophy

Evelyn Barker, associate professor emerita of philosophy and longtime champion of UMBC, passed away on Wednesday, June 25.

Dr. Barker, who retired in 1992, was a charter member of the philosophy faculty. Through her contributions to the University and to the Department of Philosophy, she played a critical role in the development of the University, including serving on many important University committees. She was instrumental in developing the Master of Arts in Applied and Professional Ethics, and was responsible for launching the careers of several philosophers.

Even after her retirement, Dr. Barker played an active role in the life of the philosophy department, taking a special interest in new and junior faculty."She was a wise counselor and advisor to a young chair, was the authorial member of the committee initiating the Honors Program, and an original member of the Graduate Faculty in Applied and Professional Ethics," says John Titchener, former philosophy chair and associate professor emeritus. "She cared about philosophy and UMBC in a way which inspired those of us privileged to know her."

The former Evelyn Masi was born in Franklin, Massachusetts in 1927. She graduated summa cum laude from Wheaton College in 1948, obtained an M.A. from Vassar College in 1949, and received both the M.A. and the Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1956. She married fellow philosopher Stephen F. Barker in 1961. During her teaching and scholarly career, Dr. Barker also held posts at Smith College and Mount Holyoke College. She authored numerous books and articles, ranging in scope from logic to the ethics of health care. Her work was noted for its rigor and clarity.

Stephen Braude, chair of the Department of Philosophy, says, "Evelyn Barker had been my colleague and my friend since my arrival at UMBC in 1971. She was a perceptive and admirably feisty philosophical interlocutor, a dedicated and generous member of the UMBC community, and a valued personal friend. My colleagues and I dedicated our conference room to Evelyn to honor her contributions to the university and to express our deep affection and respect for her.

"We were surprised and dismayed when Evelyn informed us, a couple of months ago, that she was too ill to attend one of our guest lectures," Braude says. "Now we're all greatly saddened by her passing, and I know we will all miss her penetrating insights, quick wit, and warm, vital presence."

Gary Rupert, associate director of alumni relations, adds, "Evelyn was one of the true gems of UMBC. She loved the university, she loved the students and she loved her colleagues. She epitomized this place - she really cared! The University, and a great many of us, lost a dear friend."

A memorial mass for Barker will be held in Baltimore on Thursday, September 25 at 7 p.m. in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 North Charles Street. (The Lady Chapel is at the west end of the building, behind the main altar) A reception will follow in the parish hall.

Members of the campus community have asked how they can honor Dr. Barker. A generous supporter of the University, she established The Evelyn M. Barker Endowment to provide financial support for the Department of Philosophy, as well as an annual award to a philosophy major who is going on to graduate studies in the field. To contribute to the Evelyn Barker Endowment, please make checks payable to UM Foundation and mail to Gary Rupert at the Alumni House, UMBC, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250.

Condolences may be sent to Stephen Barker, 4003 Keswick Road Baltimore, MD 21211-2228. Survivors also include her sons, Charles and George, and a brother and a sister.

Posted by dwinds1 at July 7, 2003 12:00 AM