Georgetown professor Richard Stites passes away on Sunday in Helsinki

On Sunday, March 7, history professor Richard Stites passed away in Helsinki, Finland where he was on research leave, following a brief illness.

“A giant in his scholarly field, Richard Stites was also an unusually devoted and successful teacher and mentor at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education, and a source of inspiration to colleagues and students alike,” Provost James O’Donnell wrote in the e-mail to the Georgetown community that announced Stites’ passing.

Stites specialized in modern Russian cultural and social history. O’Donnell wrote that he had a substantial bibliography, curriculum vitae, and honors and awards.

“[H]e taught for a time at the US Army Russian Institute in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, and he was Fulbright Professor at the University of Helsinki in 1995,” O’Donnell wrote. “In 2003, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Helsinki—a degree that came complete with a ceremonial sword that he afterwards wore with a combination of pride and good humor at Georgetown convocation and commencement ceremonies.”

Stites’s burial and funeral will take place in Helsinki, but there will be a memorial on campus later this semester.

One Comment on “Georgetown professor Richard Stites passes away on Sunday in Helsinki

  1. Prof. Stites was my thesis advisor. To say that he was brilliant and learned would be an understatement. Georgetown has indeed lost a giant and a lovely human being. My condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

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