Rockford College Alumni Association honors Professor Emeritus Den Adel

Rockford College Alumni Association honors Professor Emeritus Den Adel


The Rockford College Alumni Association honored Raymond Den Adel, Ph.D., emeritus professor of classics, by presenting him with the Karl C. Williams Award at the alumni reunion banquet Saturday, June 2. The award is the highest honor presented to a male alumnus for constancy, devotion and meritorious service to Rockford College. Alumni may nominate anyone who has earned at least 25 credit hours at Rockford College or has been named an honorary alumnus. Professor Den Adel was named an honorary alumnus in 1990. He is a native of Pella, Iowa, and plans to return to live there in the near future.

The award’s namesake, Karl C. Williams, was chairman of the college board of trustees for many years. “I knew Karl Williams well,” Den Adel said in his acceptance note. “He was a great man, thanks!”

Professor Den Adel received his undergraduate degree with a major in Latin from Central College in Pella, Iowa, in 1954. He graduated from the Army Intelligence School two years later. He then earned a master’s degree in Latin from the University of Iowa. He taught Latin and English at Pella High School and then at Proviso West High School in Hillside, Ill.

He came to Rockford College in 1967, and affiliated with the college’s Classics Department and the Rockford chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), which he founded. He also taught classics courses at Central and Beloit colleges, and a few years at both the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois, where he received his Ph.D. in classics in 1971. Recently, he has lectured at the Center for Learning in Retirement at Rock Valley College.

Professor Den Adel continued his studies during the course of his career, earning certificates from the American Academy in Rome, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, and the Vergilian School at Cumas, Italy. After 30 years of leadership, the AIA national organization awarded him their Distinguished Service Award in 1997. That same year, Rockford College granted him professor emeritus status. His other honors include an “Ovatio” from the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, which he served as its first vice president.

Other organizations he has served include the Chicago Classical Club, the American Classical League, the Vergilian Society of America, the Illinois Classical Conference (past president), and the Rockford Chapter of

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the American Association of University Professors (past president). He was founder in 1974 and advisor of the Rockford College Epsilon Epsilon Chapter of Eta Sigma Phi, a national classics honor society. Den Adel has been listed in Who’s Who in America and several other biographical publications.

Alumni Award Committee Chair Laurie Weiser Thibault, of Milwaukee, said at the presentation, “During his tenure here, the campus was alive with stories of the dead. The AIA lectures organized by him are among the favorite academic memories of many of those here tonight. Through his labor, a thriving department and local AIA chapter emerged.For this alone, the Rockford College community shall be forever grateful.”

For 10 of his 34 years on the college faculty, Professor Den Adel served the Alumni Association as a faculty representative. He served on several faculty committees as well.

He was also actively involved with Rotary International, serving as president of the Rockford club and district governor and delegate to the Triennial Council. He is a past president of the Rockford College Eta of Illinois Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

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