Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Sudden death of Professor Dunphy leaves campus in mourning

Lindsey Wilson College Mourns the Passing of Beloved English Professor Mark R. Dunphy. He made a lasting impression on so many at the college and in Adair County, including LWC President Wm. T. Luckey, Jr, who remembered, "I loved to see him on the sidewalk and to hear his distinctive laugh as we exchanged pleasantries, He was a good man who loved this college and its mission."
Click on headline for story with photo(s)

By Venus Popplewell

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Longtime Lindsey Wilson College English Professor Mark R. Dunphy, a literary scholar with a deep devotion to his discipline and to teaching, died suddenly on Monday, Dec. 12. He was 66.

"He was a brilliant man with a passion for his students and his discipline," LWC President William T. Luckey Jr said. "I remember him as a person who had a love for Herman Melville and Moby-Dick and one who presented frequently at national conferences on topics that were tied to this obsession."

Dunphy arrived at LWC in fall of 1992. He quickly earned a reputation among students as a professor who pushed them to see familiar subjects in new and different ways.

"I obviously have a passion for literature," said Dunphy in a 2000 interview. "So I try to convey the passion I have for those writers to my students in numerous ways. Ultimately, I hope that some of that passion will affect (the students) and compel them to examine their lives and the world around them."

For much of his career, Dunphy wrote and presented papers to illustrate the intellectual connections between the American writers of romantic period of the mid-19th century and the American Beat writers of the mid-20th century.

His area of expertise included authors Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Joyce and Jack Kerouac. He once said that he read Melville's Moby-Dick, which he considered to be the great American novel, at least once a year, and one year he read it once at the start of each season.

Dunphy's work often received attention both nationally and abroad. He was invited by the U.S. Embassy's Cultural Affairs Office in Rome and the Consulate General in Naples to lecture in Italy in fall 2004.

"It's rather exciting to know that the Beats' ideas are alive and well in Italy because they represented a movement that was not limited to America," he said.

At LWC, Dunphy served on various academic committees, he was past chair of the Humanities Division, and he also served as faculty representative to the president's cabinet.

"I loved to see him on the sidewalk and to hear his distinctive laugh as we exchanged pleasantries," Luckey said. "He was a good man who loved this college and its mission."

And LWC students recognized Dunphy's devotion to teaching and the Lindsey Wilson mission. In 2004-05, he was named Teacher of the Year by the LWC Student Government Association for his "outstanding service to the students and the mission of Lindsey Wilson College."

"I learned from Mark about the mission of the College and saw in him somebody who loved and valued that mission of 'every student, every day,'" said friend and colleague LWC Professor of English Tim McAlpine. "He was somebody who very much cared for the whole person. In the eighteen years that I served with him, I always found him somebody who was concerned with me not just as a cog in a machine that needed to run smoothly but as a person. He provided wise, kind, insightful advice that helped me along my path as a faculty member."

Mark Raymond Dunphy was born Feb. 13, 1950, in Boston to John Dunphy, who preceded him in death, and Georgina Byers Cuthbert, who survives.

Also surviving: his wife, Judith Ann Ewert Dunphy of Columbia; a daughter, Gina (Joe) Collins of Columbia; two step-sons, Daniel Tishar of Columbia and David Tishar of Breeding, Ky.

Other survivors include: two brothers, John Dunphy of Greenfield, Mass., and Steve Dunphy of Chicago; and two grandsons: Miles and Luke Collins, both of Columbia.

Dunphy earned a bachelor's and a master's degree from Lone Mountain (Calif.) College and a doctorate in English from the University of Tulsa (Okla). Before he came to LWC, he taught at Flaming Rainbow (Okla.) University. He was a member of the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Columbia, Ky.

This story was posted on 2016-12-13 10:28:40
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

Remembering Dr. Mark Dunphy: a birthday tradition

2016-12-13 - Adair County, KY - Photo from LWC public relations.
Former LWC student Jimmy Harrison of London, Ky., on behalf of the LWC Student Government Association presents a birthday cookie to Dr. Dunphy in 2014. Dunphy's birthday was February 13 but it had become a tradition for members of the college's student government to acknowledge it during a performance of "Lindsey Idol." A regular segment of the show “Dunphy Reads Modern Lyrics” was a hit among students and colleagues alike.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.

Remembering Dr. Mark Dunphy: with co-host Randy Burns

2016-12-13 - Adair County, KY - Photo from LWC public relations.
Mark Dunphy, left, and Director of Alumni Relations Randy Burns for many years served as co-host of the annual LWC talent showcase event "Lindsey Idol." Dunphy's quick wit and charm made him a crowd favorite each year.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.

Remembering Dr. Mark Dunphy: an appreciation poster

2016-12-13 - Adair County, KY - Photo from LWC public relations.
Lindsey Wilson College Professor of English Mark Dunphy holds a poster of On the Road that his Beat literature class presented him in appreciation for introducing them to the Jack Kerouac novel. At left is a picture of Kerouac.

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.