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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Remembering Kallendorf

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03_Dr.-Kallendorf-1.jpg

Professor of English and classics Craig Kallendorf, Ph.D., was an expert and a leader in the Department of Global Languages and Culture and the words of those who worked with him over the years reveal his contributions were monumental for Texas A&M.

Kallendorf worked at A&M from 1982 to his last class last spring. In those 29 years, he exhibited scholarship, professorship and administration that would propel him to be an undeniably important and valued contributor to the school. 

The scope of Kallendorf’s achievements are best introduced by his massive, 36-page-long, Curriculum Vitae, which contains a list of the 27 books and over 150 articles that he authored or edited. 

His former colleague, associate professor of classics Justin Lake, Ph.D., said Kallendorf went above and beyond in his work. 

“He was an incredible scholar,” Lake said. “[Kallendorf] put everyone else to shame in both the amount he published and the quality he published.”

Kallendorf’s contributions were primarily in the field of classics, where he studied Renaissance interpretations of Latin texts and rose to become a world-renowned expert. Another colleague, classics professor Frederic Ciccolella, Ph. D., said he was a pioneer in the field. 

“He was an innovator,” Ciccolella said. “Before him, very few had tackled the same kind of [research].”

Despite how international his success was, and how large an influence he had on his field, Lake said Kallendorf never lost touch with the true meaning of his work.

“Most people that renowned aren’t as humble and kind as he was,” Lake said. “Publishing for him was about creating new knowledge.”

But Kallendorf’s achievements do not end at his research’s contributions. Professor of classics and Senior Associate Dean of the Bush School Steven Oberhelman, Ph.D., said his abilities as a teacher are profound as well. 

“He was a very good example of what we would like to see in a professor,” Oberhelman said.  “He won university-level distinguished achievement awards for research and for teaching, which is a very unique combination.”

One of his students, classics junior Elijah White, said Kallendorf aimed to expose students to new perspectives.

“He was a very kind professor,” White said. “He always emphasized changing your perspective when viewing literature.” 

Kallendorf left a large footprint on the Department of Global Languages and Culture, and A&M as a whole, Oberhelman said.

“He brought an intellectual rigor to the study of classics,” says Oberhelman. “He really built classics here.”

Russian professor Brett Cooke attested to Kallendorf’s contributions as an interim department head. 

“He came at a certain point of crisis, and it wasn’t easy on him, and yet he managed it extremely well,” Cooke said. 

Cooke said he served as interim assistant head under Kallendorf from 2001 to 2004. 

“Working with him those three years were the best of my career,” Cooke said. “He solved lots of problems and had a very positive impact on things.” 

However, Kallendorf’s impact on A&M is much larger than just one department. Distinguished professor of English Margaret Ezell, Ph.D., worked alongside Kallendorf, and said he was able to bring a new sophistication to the study of classical literature to our school.

“He found ways he could use his [expertise in] classics in ways to enhance what we could offer in English,” Ezell said.

Kallendorf passed away on Jan. 31, 2023, after 40 years of scholarly dedication at A&M. However extensive this article may be, it can never encompass the true scope of his contribution to A&M.

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