Dr. Nancy Cutbirth Small passed away after a long illness on Friday, 27 November 2009. Nancy joined the Department of English in 1971 and retired as Associate Professor with emerita status at the end of 1995. Her career was distinguished above all by the nurturing care that she lavished on her students, by her teaching of numerous courses in Renaissance Literature (particularly poetry), by her editing of The Anthony Powell Newsletter, and by her labors in conjunction with her future husband Tom in organizing what were then annual Shakespeare Festivals sponsored by the Department.
Following retirement Nancy pursued her passions for peace and the natural world. She was an early opponent of the war in Iraq, an early and active member of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, and a founder of the Kalamazoo chapter of Wild Ones, an organization that advocates for natural landscapes. She lectured widely and wrote numerous letters and essays advocating for the preservation of natural spaces and all critters that live in, on, or above them. In a sense she never stopped teaching, as those who gardened with her, or received plants from her hands, or sought her advice on what to plant and where and why would testify.
T. H. Seiler