The University Record, July 16, 1997

Gregory L. Lucente

Gregory L. Lucente, professor of Italian and comparative literature died in an auto accident June 26. He was 49.

An Illinois native and a resident of Pinkney, Lucente graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s from Yale in 1970, a master’s from Middlebury College in 1973 and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1979.

Before joining the U-M in 1988, Lucente taught Italian at Loyola University of Chicago and The Johns Hopkins University. A 1984 recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholars Program Research Fellowship, Lucente also served as chair of various conventions and sessions dealing with Italian literature as well as directing the U-M/University of Wisconsin Spring Program in Florence and organizing several conferences and symposia held at the U-M.

“Faculty and students of romance languages and comparative literature are stunned and saddened by Professor Lucente’s death,” said Prof. William Paulson, former chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. “Professor Lucente was a leading scholar of modern Italian and comparative literature and the author of major works on modern fiction and cultural theory.”

His latest book, Crosspaths: Essays in Italian and American Criticism and Theory, is about to appear from Stanford University Press. Last year he published his first novel, Over the Mountain.

Among his professional interests were Provencal and Italian lyric poetry of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, 19th- and 20th-century Italian poetry, the development of the Italian novel (18th-20th centuries) and contemporary American and Italian cinema.

“As head of the Italian section in the Department of Romance Languages, Professor Lucente was responsible for developing a superb program that combines language instruction with a serious understanding of Italian culture” said Chair Jose Rabasa. “Over the years, Professor Lucente showed a commitment to the comparative studies in romance languages and literatures without which the department would not have its current reputation for excellence in teaching and research.”

Survivors include his wife, M. Gloria Lauri-Lucente, of Pinckney; his parents; and two brothers.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Lucente Fund, Program in Comparative Literature, or Lucente Fund, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Sigurd P. Ramfjord

Sigurd P. Ramfjord, professor emeritus of dentistry, died July 4. He was 86. Ramfjord was known internationally for his leadership in establishing the specialty of periodontics (diseases of the gums) on a scientific basis.

The first dental investigator to carry out longitudinal studies on the effectiveness of various periodontal treatments, Ramfjord organized the first World Workshop on Periodontics in 1966, at which scientific goals for the field of periodontology were established. The dental education program Ramfjord developed over the years is known as “the Michigan Concept” and has been emulated around the world.

“Dr. Ramfjord had an outstanding career of international acclaim,” said Prof. Martha J. Somerman, chair of the Department of Periodontics/Prevention and Geriatrics. “He earned the deep respect of colleagues and students alike for his breadth of knowledge of dentistry and for his devotion to study.

“Dr. Ramfjord was my mentor and my friend. During my six years at Michigan he often provided me with excellent advice in regard to both the department and to my research, and he was always right. He was a fine scholar and a man of true compassion, qualities that will be missed by the periodontal community, his friends at Michigan and all the friends that he touched during his lifetime.”

Ramfjord joined the U-M in 1950 and was chair of the department in 1963-81. Born in Norway, Ramfjord received his dental education at the Oslo University School of Dentistry. He practiced dentistry in Norway for 12 years before coming to the U-M in 1946 for graduate work, where he earned a master’s degree in periodontics in 1948 and a Ph.D. in oral pathology in 1951.

A prolific writer, Ramfjord was author of two textbooks and more than 90 publications. Reflecting his worldwide influence, he received a number of honors and awards over the course of his career, including the Gold Medal Award in 1973 from the American Academy of Periodontology. In recognition of his more than 20 years of consulting work with the World Health Organization, he was awarded an honorary doctor of dental medicine degree by the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in 1978, and an honorary doctor of odontology degree by the University of Gotenborg, Sweden, in 1979. The U-M honored him with its Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 1979.

Ramfjord was active in many dental organizations. He served as president of the American Academy of Periodontology and also served as director and chair of the American Board of Periodontology. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Oral Pathology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.

Ramfjord is survived by his wife, Winifred; son, Per Ramfjord of Portland, Ore.; daughters, Kirsti Haaland of Oslo, Norway, and Birgit Ramfjord of Stockholm, Sweden; and five grandchildren.

Glenn P. Smith

Glenn P. Smith, professor emeritus of trombone, died June 16 in Batavia, Ill. He was 85.

Founder and conductor of the U-M’s Trombone Choir, an ensemble that performed both transcriptions and original works for trombones, Smith began his career here in 1950 as instructor of trombone, euphonium and tuba after receiving a master of music degree from Northwestern University. He retired in 1981.

“Glenn Smith was a devoted teacher whose students went on to important careers in leading orchestras and to teaching posts in higher education,” said School of Music Dean Paul C. Boylan. “He was much admired by his faculty colleagues for his integrity and kindness. His quiet manner always brought perspective and balance to the often turbulent debates within the School of Music.”

In addition to teaching, he was active as an adjudicator, soloist, clinician and author, with approximately 30 of his editions of solo and ensemble literature for brass instruments published.

Smith was a member of the Music Educators National Conference, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instrument Instructors, Pi Kappa Lambda, Kappa Kappa Psi and the American Association of University Professors.

Among Smith’s varied interests was growing prize roses, and he had nearly 225 varieties in his garden. He also was active in maintaining the rose garden at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens until moving to Illinois about two years ago.

He is survived by his wife, Marie; three daughters; a son; and four grandchildren.

In 1976 he donated the seed money to establish the Glenn P. Smith Scholarship Fund to provide scholarship awards for highly qualified and deserving U-M trombone students.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Glenn P. Smith Scholarship Fund, Development Office, School of Music, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2085.


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