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Melvin Schroeder, Canisius associate professor; July 27, 1932 -- Feb. 9, 2011

A memorial Mass for Melvin Schroeder, Ph.D., a longtime associate professor of English at Canisius College, will be offered at 6 p.m. April 30 in Christ the King Chapel, 2001 Main St.

Dr. Schroeder died Feb. 9 in Buffalo General after a brief illness. He was 78.

Born in Milwaukee, Mr. Schroeder earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His doctoral dissertation was on the 20th century British novel. He particularly enjoyed the works of Joseph Conrad, D.H. Lawrence, James Joyce and E.M. Forster.

"Mel Schroeder was one of the most cherished members of the Canisius family," said Canisius President John J. Hurley, in a prepared statement.

Dr. Schroeder "will be remembered for his fascination with books, as a mentor and role model to countless students and alumni for 46 years, and as a good friend. I will miss him greatly," Hurley added.

Dr. Schroeder spent almost a half century in the classroom and provided instruction to an estimated 5,000 students during that time. He was one of the first professors to teach in the All-College Honors Program and was among the first group of Canisius faculty to team-teach course work. Among the interdisciplinary classes he shared with other professors in other academic departments at Canisius were courses in literature and philosophy and literature combined with science and technology.

Canisius College English professor Kenneth M. Sroka was a close friend and colleague of Dr. Schroeder, as well as one of Schroeder's first students at Canisius.

"Mel relished the exchange of ideas with students and the exploration of unknown territory," said Sroka. "He was a gifted conversationalist, but he always let everyone else speak first before adding his insights."

Dr. Schroeder also advised student staff who worked on the Griffin, the college's student newspaper. He served six years as chairman of the college's English department and four years as chairman of the Faculty Senate.

He was a familiar face at Holy Angels Catholic Academy as a teacher for more than 20 years, and he was a faculty member in the college degree programs at Attica and Wyoming correctional facilities.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Adelaide Haynie; two sons, Melvin Jr. and Gavin; and a daughter, Margaret.


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