Baylor Mourns Loss of Associate Dean of the Honors College

June 25, 2012
Baylor MournsDr. Susan Colón

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WACO, Texas (June 25, 2012) -- Baylor University is mourning the death of Dr. Susan E. Colón of Hewitt, Associate Dean of the Honors College, Assistant Director of the University Scholars Program, and Associate Professor of Literature in the Honors Program at Baylor.

Dr. Colón passed away Sunday morning after a six-month battle with cancer. She was 39 years old.

The memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 27, at DaySpring Baptist Church, 7900 Renewal Way in Waco.

Dr. Colón earned her Ph.D. and Master of Arts degree in English from Florida State University and her Bachelor's degree in English from Baylor.

Dr. Thomas Hibbs, Dean of the Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Culture at Baylor, said that she represented "the finest things about Baylor. An alumna, who returned as a teacher, she quickly established herself as a respected scholar, managed to become simultaneously one of our most demanding and most popular teachers, and eventually moved into leadership roles as mentor of our undergraduate journal, The Pulse, and as an associate dean in the Honors College.

"She was courageous, faithful, and retained her sense of humor until the end. Her agile and always vibrant intellect was evident in her engaging in intellectual conversations throughout her illness," Dr. Hibbs said. "Perhaps even more impressive, everyone who visited her during her illness felt as if she was exercising hospitality toward them, making them comfortable, never complaining, and happy to talk about everything."

He said that when he visited Dr. Colón recently at Baylor Cancer Hospital in Dallas, "she wanted to hear stories about our students. Beyond her own family, her great passion was teaching. And she taught us all a great deal. Her many virtues were never more evident than in the manner in which she accepted the struggles of the past few months."

Kelsey Jones, a recent Baylor graduate and Dean's List student who is in training for the Teach for America program in Houston, said that it is "terribly hard for me to imagine Baylor without Dr. Colón, because so much of what Baylor was to me was because of her. She was a beautiful example of godly womanhood to me, and I am so grateful for the legacy she has left on my life, and on the lives of so many others.

"I feel so grateful to have visited her for a few brief minutes last month as I drove home to Amarillo following graduation," Jones said. "That visit, as well as the many other interactions I had with her over the last four years, keep playing through my head as I reflect on her life. It was she who introduced me to Chesterton and T. S. Eliot, revealed to me that The Lord of the Rings was indeed a Christian writing, and who taught me that there is such a thing as Christian scholarship. She invited me, my mother, and my sister into her home on Easter Sunday of 2010. She was family to me in more ways than I can count."

Recent Baylor graduate Caroline Barta said that Dr. Colón will be "greatly missed, and I know I speak for many young aspiring women scholars in particular when I say we viewed her as an ideal role model, a brilliant scholar, a caring mother and wife, and a good friend."

The family has asked that memorials be sent to the Susan Colón Scholarship Fund in the Honors College at Baylor University. To donate, visit https://www.baylor.edu/give. Select the "Memorial & Tribute Endowed Academic Scholarship Fund" link beneath "Designate Your Gift." On the next page, enter "Susan Colón" and the amount you wish to contribute.

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