Former dean of Christ College Arlin G. Meyer passed away on Feb. 8, 2017.
Meyer was a beloved member of the Valparaiso University community and served for many years as a professor and dean in Christ College and the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to his work as a faculty member, Meyer also directed the Lilly Fellows program.
He served as dean of Christ College from 1978 until 1990, and was responsible for introducing the concept of symposium to the CC curriculum, which still exists as a core part of the college today.
During his time at the university, Meyer first served as a member of the English department faculty later as the chair of the English department before being inducted as the dean of Christ College. Following his retirement from the position of dean in 1990, Meyer resumed his duties as a faculty member in the English department and began to serve as the director of the Lilly Fellows program. He also served as the resident director for the university’s study abroad program at the study center in Cambridge, England.
Meyer retired from the university in 2002 but still remained active in the Valparaiso area. Every two years, the Lilly Fellows program awards the Arlin G. Meyer Award for fine arts. This prize, awarded in Meyer’s name, is given to honor exemplary submissions in visual art, performance, imaginative writing and nonfiction. Most recently, the award went to Lisa J. Deboer for her book “Visual Arts in the Worshiping Church.”
Meyer is survived by his wife and many children and grandchildren, as well as extended family and friends.
“Arlin created a very special connection with all of the students he mentored in the Cambridge overseas study program, which I attended in 1974,” said alumnus Glenn Vician in response to Meyer’s obituary. “His love of British literature and of history was truly infectious.”
It was clear many of his students felt the benefit of his personality and love of literature. Throughout his years as a faculty member at Valpo, Meyer touched the lives of a diverse and passionate group of students.
“Largely as a result of Arlin's influence during my overseas study semester at Cambridge, for which he was the director, I added an English major, which proved to be much more significant in my life than my other major,” said Dick Davis, also a Valpo alumnus responding to Meyer’s obituary.
The university intends to honor Meyer with a memorial service in the Chapel of the Resurrection on Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. University president Mark A. Heckler and current Christ College dean and assistant dean, Peter Kanelos and Margaret Franson respectively, will speak about Meyer’s impact on the Valpo community. A reception will follow in the Helge Center.