Gene Long, a long-time member of the department, passed away in March of 2020. An
obituary is available here.
Emeritus faculty member Jerry Wallulis offers the following "Personal Impressions
of Gene Long":
If I have learned from my French wife to appreciate what it means to be sèrieux about personal cares and activities, in Gene I grew to discover a Scottish counterpart.
He had pride in his family and career, yet with a private reserve that did not make
it obvious. His academic life was filled with inner conviction toward things important
to him: the liberal arts education he studied and taught at Randolph Macon, the pluralistic
approach taken toward the philosophy of religion in his journal editorship and in
his comprehensive history on the recent century, and his own efforts toward understanding
transcendence in all its fully human and religious aspects through Existenzphilosophie and other continental philosophies. Finally, in retirement he exhibited an avid determination
to return to a passion of his youth, and discovered in the Columbia area a rewarding
kinship with both a large and smaller groups of jazz musicians across the races. As
I appreciated having Gene as my first departmental Chair and then later enjoyed him
as a colleague and friend, I have learned above all to value the tacit and implicit
dimensions of his own Scottish version of “serious.”