The Spector family has requested that donations be sent to The SmileTrain Foundation in Bob’s name.
The following is from the University's official announcement, by President David Steinberg and Brooklyn Campus Provost Gale Haynes:
It is with deep sadness that we write to inform you that Dr. Robert Donald Spector, coordinator of the Humanities Division and professor emeritus of English at the Brooklyn Campus, and chairman of the University’s George Polk Awards in Journalism, died on February 25. A gifted poet and writer, he was an inspiration to students and colleagues alike.
Dr. Spector’s association with the University began during his undergraduate days; he earned a B.A. in English, magna cum laude, from the Brooklyn Campus in 1948. After completing an M.A. in English at New York University, Dr. Spector returned to Long Island University to begin a teaching career that spanned more than five decades. He always was passionately involved in the University community. In 1967, Dr. Spector organized a movement to oppose the sale of the Brooklyn Campus. Thanks in large part to his efforts, faculty and students successfully lobbied against the sale, preserving the campus for generations to come.
Dr. Spector, who also held a Ph.D. in English from Columbia University, was a renowned author of scholarly books, articles and volumes of poetry, and as chairman of the Polk Awards, played a significant role in the administration of one of America’s most coveted journalism honors. His commitment to his work earned him the University’s Trustees Award for Scholarly Achievement, now called the Abraham Krasnoff Memorial Award for Scholarly Achievement, in 1978; a Tristram Walker Metcalfe Alumnus of the Year Award in 1981; and an honorary doctorate from the Brooklyn Campus in 1994.
Despite the magnitude of his achievements, Dr. Spector cited “over 50 years of teaching thousands of students” as his greatest accomplishment. He will no doubt be missed.
UPDATE 21 OCTOBER 2010: a new announcement & two new images
We are renaming the Faculty Lounge on the Fourth Floor of the Humanities Building, in honor of Dr. Spector. Click here for further information about the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
This card (front & back shown) was produced to advertise the memorial service held on campus on 11/18/2009. Click to enlarge.
The English Department received this thank-you note from Eleanor Spector. Click to enlarge.