Please remember in your prayers Paul Hague, a much-loved, retired member of the University of St. Thomas English Department faculty who died at his home in St. Croix Falls, Wis., on Wednesday, Dec. 3. He was 89.
“Paul taught generations of students to love literature and care about expressing themselves well in writing by displaying his own enthusiasm for the books he taught and by tirelessly conferencing with students individually,” said one of Hague’s longtime colleagues, Dr. Michael Jordan, professor and former chair of the English Department and now associate vice president for undergraduate studies and academic advisement.
“He brought a distinctive kindness to every personal interaction and he was sentimental in a way that warmed every room in which he was present. The uplifting sound of his spontaneous laughter is indelible in my memory of his presence in the English Department and in the St. Thomas community,” Jordan said.
A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Hague graduated from the Franciscan college there and earned his master’s in English literature from Ohio State University in 1954. He came to St. Thomas in 1955 and taught English here for 35 years, until retiring in 1990.
He was featured in a fall 1958 Aquin student newspaper story because of his approaching marriage to Jerry Lou Dudley, who at the time worked in the college’s records office (and who later, among other positions at St. Thomas, was secretary to St. Thomas’ provost, Dr. Charles Keffer).
Hague is survived by Jerry Lou and their three children: Molly of St. Croix Falls; John of Spearfish, S.D.; and Bob of Madison, Wis.
Hague was a longtime adviser to the Aquinas yearbook and in 1987 was named the St. Thomas Professor of the Year, an annual award that recognizes teaching excellence, interest in students and scholarship. He also received the Father Columba Devlin Award for contributions to education from the Alumni Association of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.
James Kurpius, a 1960 St. Thomas graduate who was one of Hague’s students, established the Paul Hague Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in English “to honor the superb (and sometimes groovy) teaching skills, values and humanity of a remarkable professor, friend, and mentor.”