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VULGAMORE, Dr. Melvin L. Passed away on August 12, 2016. Dr. Vulgamore was a longtime resident of New London, New Hampshire, where he lived in the historic 1790 Job Seaman's Homestead. He was born on July 19, 1935 in Springfield, Ohio. He grew up on a working farm and gravel bar on the Scioto River in southern Ohio, graduating from Piketon High School as Valedictorian. He was a scholarship student at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in 1957. That same year, he married his dream girl, Ethelanne (Nan) Oyer of Waverly, Ohio. He subsequently earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Harvard University in 1960, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Boston University in 1963. Dr. Vulgamore also became an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church during his student years. From 1962 until 1978, Dr. Vulgamore was Professor of Religion at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he won the Shankland Award for Excellence in Teaching. He began his academic administrative career while at Ohio Wesleyan, serving as Dean of Academic Affairs for more than four years, after a year as Associate Dean of Faculty. In 1978 he became Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost of the University of Richmond, a post in which he served until 1983. Dr. Vulgamore traveled widely throughout Europe and the Middle East, serving in 1971-72 as Visiting Professor of Cultural Studies at the American University of Beirut. A well published theologian, he held several research grants, including post-doctoral study at Oxford and a sabbatical at Heidelberg. Dr. Vulgamore served as the thirteenth president of Albion College from 1983, until his retirement in 1997. Albion's Vulgamore Hall is named in his honor. During his long tenure at Albion, major accomplishments of his administration included the construction of the Kellogg Center and the Dow Recreation and Wellness Center; establishing the Philip C. Curtis Visiting Artist Endowment; creation of the Anna Howard Shaw Center for Women's Studies and Programs; the Sleight Leadership Program; the Office for Multicultural Affairs; many significant capital improvements; and others. Dr. Vulgamore was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, The North American Paul Tillich Society and the St. Botolph Club of Boston. Dr. Vulgamore is preceded in death by his parents, Leo B. and Della McCoy Vulgamore, and his brother, Malcolm. He is survived by his loving life partner and wife, Nan, his daughters Allison Beth Vulgamore of Philadelphia and Sarah Faith Vulgamore of Lenox, MA, and his cherished grandchildren, Abigail and Samuel Evans. A celebration of his life will follow at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions, in honor of Dr. Vulgamore, may be made to The Arts Castle in Delaware, Ohio at www.artscastle.org or to Harvard University, in support of the annual Paul Tillich Lecture at the Harvard Divinity School.
Published in The Boston Globe on Aug. 15, 2016
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