Kathleen Ellen Dubs (1944–2011)
The Foundation is named after Kathleen E. Dubs, who was born in Chicago in 1944. She graduated from the University of Illinois as an Edmund J. James Scholar in 1969, and moved on to do her PhD on the Old English Genesis B manuscript at the University of Iowa. Upon receiving her PhD in 1974 with Distinction, she taught at the University of Oregon and then at the University of San Francisco as a full professor, where she also took the position of Dean of College of Arts and Sciences. Her last post in the USA, right before she came to Hungary, was Dean and Provost of Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania.
She thought she came to spend a year in Hungary as a Soros Fellow in 1991. She stayed for twenty. "It felt instantly like being at home," she explained. The first stop along her “mission,” as she called it, was Eszterházy Károly Teacher Training College in Eger, where eventually she became Head of the English Department. In 1995 she could not turn down the challenge of joining the emerging English Department at Pázmány Péter Catholic University as full professor. In addition to her full-time commitment at Pázmány University, she continued to live and work in Eger and travel to the Catholic University of Ružomberok, Slovakia as a Professor, Guarantor and, eventually, a close friend. Throughout her academic career she served on boards, councils and committees too numerous to be listed here.
Kathleen was exceptionally energetic, sharp, conscientious and not given to petty compromise. Her thorough knowledge of medieval literature, language, contemporary civilization and customs made her a respected and popular teacher. Her rigorous attitude did not make students feel ill at ease but motivated them. Admired and venerated by her students, she always kept her door open to all. In conversations with colleagues she would never hesitate to give her characteristically ironic view of anything, least of all of academic life and American politics, her favorite topics. After she was diagnosed with brain tumor in November 2010, she bore her illness and debilitating treatment with incredible strength and dignity. Manifesting her characteristic, wry sense of humor, she would occasionally give brief ironic accounts of her condition. Carried by her love of life until the end, Kathleen E. Dubs died on November 23, 2011, in her Eger home.