Mark Lussier, Professor Emeritus
On his retirement
Just a year or so into my graduate program, I asked Mark Lussier, from whom I’d only taken one class, to write a recommendation letter for me. His response showed his characteristic enthusiasm: “Of course, I’ll champion your cause!” Little did I know in that moment that he’d continue to champion my cause as my PhD committee chair—and then beyond as a friend and colleague. Mine has not been the only cause Mark has championed since first arriving at Arizona State University in 1989.
Through his work in the Department of English, Mark has sponsored the causes of many, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students in classes and on committees, as well as junior faculty navigating the profession. He has been a source of support for his fellow faculty, in his team-teaching and work with faculty in our department and across the university.
Among his many roles and positions at ASU, Mark has been the proponent of the Department of English as its chair, helping to pioneer our move into online education. He guided the university faculty during his time as the University Senate President. Few who have had the experience of working closely with Mark will soon forget his passion, energy and focus, especially when most people would have been exhausted by the demands on their time.
He has been, and remains, an advocate for others in his service to the community. As a member of the English Department’s Committee for Altruistic Research & Experience (CARE), Mark has worked with other faculty and staff on food, clothing, holiday and animal charities. His work with local hospice organizations and the Bodhi Heart Center for Buddhist Studies in Phoenix also demonstrates Mark’s compassion and giving nature.
We in the Department will miss seeing Mark roam Ross-Blakley Hall, but we also know that retirement does not mean an end to Mark’s championing of any of the things that matter most to him.
This same ethos of otherness infuses his scholarship on Romantic poet William Blake, which combines so many of Mark’s interests in medicine, science, Buddhism and Romanticism. To read through Mark’s list of publications present, past and future is to see just how active within the profession and Romanticism studies Mark has been over the last 30 years.
We in the Department will miss seeing Mark roam Ross-Blakley Hall, but we also know that retirement does not mean an end to Mark’s championing of any of the things that matter most to him. At the Department’s retirement celebration this past April, Mark joined fellow retirees Dan Bivona and Taylor Corse in stating that he will continue to be present in many ways. We’ll likely find him roaming the campus, enjoying his hikes on South Mountain and teaching students about Blake and Romanticism as a Professor Emeritus.
Image: As University Senate President, Mark Lussier was the Grand Marshall for ASU Commencement in 2013. Here in this ASU News photo, he places the ceremonial mace in its cradle at that spring’s Graduate Commencement at Wells Fargo Arena.