fall M - Department of English - University of Minnesota


fall M - Department of English - University of Minnesota



By Gregory J. Scott

On the morning of

Sunday, May 25th, anxious

glances and tense faces dotted

the crowd of Hmong families

that gathered around the

locked doors of St. Vincent

de Paul Church in St. Paul.

Usually at this time, their

beloved pastor Robert

Wellisch would be standing

on the church’s steps, welcoming

his congregation with

vivacious handshakes and

warm greetings in their native

tongue. Fewer than half of

the members at St. Vincent

de Paul speak fluent English,

and many Hmong in the

Twin Cities area relished the

chance to hear Wellisch’s

famously eloquent sermons

in their own language.

Some even drove as far as

fifty miles to take part in

these translated masses.

Wellisch, however, never

made it to church that morning.

According to the State

Patrol, Father Wellisch had

died at 10 p.m. the night

before in a car accident on

highway 169 in LeSueur

County after his vehicle

struck a stray horse and slid

into a ditch. He had just

hosted a pre-confirmation

retreat for the parish youth in

Mankato, and was returning

to St. Paul that night to say

Mass the next morning.

In addition to serving as

the Roman Catholic chaplain

to the Twin Cities

Hmong community for 19

years, Wellisch worked as a

full time associate professor

at the University of St.

Thomas after earning both

his masters and PhD in English from the

University of Minnesota. The man who

adored Victorian literature and wrote intelligently

about the work of Walter Pater

exhibited a warm respect for both his classmates

and his students. He served on a

committee that organized the first reunion

of graduates from the PhD program, and

his contribution in this role mirrored the

fatherly benevolence he displayed both in

the classroom and in the pulpit.


Wendell Glick died in his home

Saturday, July 19, 2003. He was 87. A professor

of literature at the Duluth campus,

he championed Thoreau scholarship

before it was fashionable, defending himself

and Thoreau in the pages of the

Minneapolis Tribune and editing the

Thoreau Quarterly. Glick retired from

UMD in 1986. He continued to teach in

its University for Seniors until shortly

before his death.


Josef Altholz, one of the longest-serving

history professors at the University of

Minnesota, died Aug. 2 in a traffic accident.

Altholz, 69, had retired in May and

had been suffering from cancer for about a

year. “He was an excellent teacher in the

classical sense of the word,” said Theofanis

Stavrou, a friend and colleague for 43

years. Lecturing, not interactive dialogue,

was the style of their generation, and

Altholz was always well-prepared and

extremely precise in his delivery, Stavrou

said. Ann Waltner, associate chair of the

Department of History, described his

courses in British and Irish history as wildly

popular, enrolling about 12,000 students

in 40 years. But Altholz didn't expect

all students to like his work. “Indeed, I

would deplore uniformly excellent student

ratings,” he wrote in 1998. “A willingness

to fail is the condition of success.”

Survivors include a brother, Arthur

Altholz of New York.

L U N A , a journal of poetry and translation

Individual issues $10.00

One year (2 issues) $18.00

Two years (4 issues) $30.00

Send subscriptions to:


Ray Gonzalez, Editor

Department of English

University of Minnesota

207 Church Street S.E., 207 Lind Hall

Minneapolis, MN 55455-0134



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