The Catholic University of America

May 7, 2009

CUA Mourns Passing of C. Joseph Nuesse and Richard M. Frank

C. Joseph Nuesse

It is with sadness that I write to you of the passing this week of two exceptionally distinguished members of The Catholic University of America community.

On May 5 The Catholic University of America lost one of its great citizens, Dr. C. Joseph Nuesse, provost emeritus and professor emeritus. Although we only met once during my tenure as president, I came to know Dr. Nuesse through his book, The Catholic University of America: A Centennial History. The result of over eight years of research, Dr. Nuesse's comprehensive history is and will continue to be an absolute "must read" for anyone who wishes to understand the national university of the Catholic Church in our country and its development.

A sociologist by academic discipline, his reputation as a scholar and administrator was legendary. For almost 40 years, Dr. Nuesse served the university with dedication and commitment as a faculty member, dean, department chairman, editor, executive vice president and provost. At the same time, he contributed his wisdom and leadership to various international, national and local organizations.

Dr. Nuesse was one of those giants in an institution's history who, though absent from the scene since his retirement in 1981, continued to cast a long shadow of influence well beyond his years of service. He was 95 years old. With admiration and gratitude, The Catholic University of America offers its prayers for Dr. Nuesse that he might know God's peace in eternity.

Richard M. Frank

Also on May 5, Richard M. Frank, professor emeritus in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, passed away. Dr, Frank's scholarship and writing, especially in the areas of Arabic and Islamic theology and philosophy, have been a singularly important contribution to those fields of study. In many ways, his research has never been more timely and significant. I read a review of one of his books which referred to him as "universally respected and admired," a scholar who deployed "a subtlety of mind and a breadth of scholarly expertise that few can emulate." His presence and work at CUA will long be remembered by his colleagues and friends, especially within the School of Arts and Sciences and his beloved Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures. May he rest in peace.

Very Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M.