Xavier Magazine

Golden Era Ends

Philosophy professor Bernard Gendreau taught Xavier students until the day he died—literally. An hour after teaching what would be his last class on March 31, he pulled his car into a restaurant parking lot where he was to meet his wife for dinner and suffered a heart attack. He was 82 years old.

Gendreau taught thousands of Xavier students during his 50 years as professor and continued to deliver papers at prestigious conferences internationally after his retirement, says friend and fellow philosophy professor Paul Colella.

“He was a very traditional Catholic and epitomized the ideals of how one has these religious commitments and at the same time these strong academic standards as well,” Colella says.

Classic Scholar | Classics professor John Felten, S.J., died in October at age 83. Felten spent more than 40 years at Xavier serving as professor of classics and ancient history, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and director of the Honors Bachelor of Arts program. His relationship with Xavier began in 1940 when he entered the University’s novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He joined the faculty in 1957 and quickly showed his leadership skills by becoming director of the honors program until 1967. He also served on the board of trustees from 1961-1973, was dean from 1967-1976 and was named professor emeritus in 1987.

“He was a jovial, bright, articulate person and very much of a raconteur,” says J. Leo Klein, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry. Felten’s last assignment was as the University’s archivist from 1997-2002 when he retired to Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich.

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