by Professor Greg Semenza
RAYMOND A ANSELMENT
In addition to being a meticulous, prolific scholar of everything Renaissance—from satire to medicine to the works of under-studied (and, in several cases, previously unknown) women writers—Ray was among the most humble and generous individuals I’ve ever known. Few things were more difficult than getting Ray to talk about himself, though he was always happy to share updates about his wife Carol, his daughter, and his grandchildren. He was also keen on chatting about the women’s basketball team, and I always loved that the big games stressed him out so much that he would avoid watching them live, choosing instead to learn from Carol, or from the news, who had won after the final buzzer sounded. Those who knew Ray will agree that he was an extraordinary listener, a man who always wanted to know how you were doing, and who made you feel like your answer really mattered. Professionally speaking, I came to think of Ray as my post-graduate-school mentor–a trusted advisor to whom I could turn whenever I had concerns or questions, and a refreshingly honest, even blunt, reader of whatever I happened to be working on at the time (many of you will remember his legendary pencil line-edits, I’m sure). He was on the Search Committee that hired me in 2001 (along with Jean Marsden and Brenda Murphy), so I would always have been grateful to Ray simply for bringing me to UConn, but I feel especially lucky to have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him better over the past twenty years. I will especially miss our coffees and beers together, and hearing about what he was reading, and writing, and watching at night. Ray’s death represents a profound loss for our department and our larger university community.