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Sunday Memorial Set For Professor Emeritus Kent Blaser

Published: 11-12-2010 3:00 pm

Dr. Kent Blaser, Wayne State College professor emeritus of history, died Nov. 10. He was born Feb. 18, 1949, in Waterville, Kansas. A memorial service will be held for Dr. Blaser at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, in Ley Theater in the Brandenburg Education Building on the Wayne State College campus.
Dr. Blaser earned his bachelor's degree in U.S. history from Kansas State University and his Ph.D. from University of North Carolina, (Chapel Hill) in American History. He previously taught at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Dr. Blaser came to Wayne State in 1979. His teaching and research interests included historiography and the philosophy of history; Nebraska and the Great Plains; and the history of Wayne State College. He was head of the college's Division of Social Sciences from 1984 to 1989; director of Wayne State's Honors Program, 1993-1994; president of Mid-America American Studies Association, 1995-1996; and editor of Midwest Review from 1983 to 1994, among many academic accomplishments. He was the author of Far from Normal, the history of Wayne State published in honor of the college's 100th year as a state college.

A number of Dr. Blaser's colleagues shared their impressions of his lasting contribution to the Wayne State College campus community.

"The campus community is saddened by the passing of Kent Blaser. He was a longtime faculty member and friend. His contribution to students, the campus and the community were substantial. He will be missed,'' said Curt Frye, interim president.

"My introduction to Kent Blaser was as a new college faculty member. Kent was the type of person and intellect I had hoped to find amongst a college faculty,'' said Monica Snowden, Professor of Sociology. "His authenticity as a professor provided me with much needed encouragement along the pathway of higher learning. Kent and Cathy have been an inspiration in every aspect of my family's life in Wayne. I will remember Kent as a kind and loyal friend, an intellectual, and someone who was willing to take the time for a leisurely talk about life, friends, and the state of the world."

"Kent Blaser embodied the true nature of higher education. He was a respected scholar, dedicated teacher, and campus leader whose love of life and learning made Wayne State College a better place. Over his 30 year career, his friends and colleagues knew him as caring, principled, inquisitive, even-keeled, and generous. He will be greatly missed,'' said Dr. Joe Blankenau, Professor of Politics.

"He was a delightful person and colleague: always upbeat, always willing to engage the issues on their merits, always a joy to be around. He will be missed," said Dr. Don Hickey, Professor of History.

"Kent was a kind, gentle man, and an outstanding scholar. He was outstanding in the classroom. Students cared deeply for Kent because they knew he cared about them,'' said Dr. Kevin Hill, Associate Professor of Physical Education.

Dr. Blaser is survived by his wife, Cathy; three daughters, Sarah, Rachel and Caitlin; his mother; and two siblings.

Flowers can be sent to the Hasemann Funeral Home. Memorials can be made to Habitat for Humanity in Dr. Blaser's honor.  A scholarship will be established at a later date.

For information: (402) 375-7030



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