DIRK HELD

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HELD--Dirk tom Dieck, Of Westerly RI, was the Elizabeth S. Kruidenier '48 Professor of Classics at Connecticut College in New London, CT. He took his A.B. and Ph.D in Classics at Brown University. In 1971, he joined the faculty of Connecticut College, where he served until his death from a cerebral hemorrhage on March 19, 2012. He held the Chair of the Classics Department for thirty-two years. Professor Held presented and/or published over one hundred learned papers on a wide variety of topics. He was widely known and respected for the quality of his scholarship and his dedication to the field. Colleague Robert Proctor, Professor of Italian, remarked, "Dirk Held lived the liberal arts ideal. His scholarship was both profound and wide-ranging, from Plato's understanding of love to Nietzsche and the reception of classical antiquity in the modern world. He was a modern exemplar of ancient Roman humanitas: culture, kindness, generosity, and wit." In 2007 he was awarded the Helen B. Regan Faculty Leadership Award. He was a superb teacher whose students often became his lifelong friends. Dirk was secretary and presiding officer of the Ariston Club, a society of prominent professionals founded in 1900 to foster literary culture in the New London area, where he was his black tie, witty, raconteur best. Born on March 24, 1939, he was the son of the late Oskar Edouard Held and Ethel Crofton Hunt. He grew up in Rumson, NJ. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Candace Allen; daughters Elizabeth Jensen and Kristin Held; grandsons Nicholas Thomson and Martin Jensen; and his brother Robert Crofton Held. He was descended from Pierre S. DuPont and was buried in the family cemetery, DuPont de Nemours, in Wilmington, DE. A Memorial Service will be held in Harkness Chapel, Connecticut College, on Friday, April 27th at 4pm, followed by a reception.

Published in The New York Times on Apr. 6, 2012
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