Please remember in your prayers Paul Hague, a much-loved, retired member of the University of St. Thomas English Department faculty who died at his home in St. Croix Falls, Wis., on Wednesday, Dec. 3. He was 89.

Jerry Lou and Paul Hague in 1987, on the evening he received the Professor of the Year Award.

Jerry Lou and Paul Hague in 1987, on the evening he received the Professor of the Year Award.

“Paul taught generations of students to love literature and care about expressing themselves well in writing by displaying his own enthusiasm for the books he taught and by tirelessly conferencing with students individually,” said one of Hague’s longtime colleagues, Dr. Michael Jordan, professor and former chair of the English Department and now associate vice president for undergraduate studies and academic advisement.

“He brought a distinctive kindness to every personal interaction and he was sentimental in a way that warmed every room in which he was present. The uplifting sound of his spontaneous laughter is indelible in my memory of his presence in the English Department and in the St. Thomas community,” Jordan said.

A native of Steubenville, Ohio, Hague graduated from the Franciscan college there and earned his master’s in English literature from Ohio State University in 1954. He came to St. Thomas in 1955 and taught English here for 35 years, until retiring in 1990.

He was featured in a fall 1958 Aquin student newspaper story because of his approaching marriage to Jerry Lou Dudley, who at the time worked in the college’s records office (and who later, among other positions at St. Thomas, was secretary to St. Thomas’ provost, Dr. Charles Keffer).

Paul Hague is pictured at the 1998 St. Thomas picnic for neighbors. With him are granddaughters Erin Rose Kessler and Emily Anne Kessler.

Paul Hague is pictured at the 1998 St. Thomas picnic for neighbors. With him are granddaughters Erin Rose Kessler and Emily Anne Kessler.

Hague is survived by Jerry Lou and their three children: Molly of St. Croix Falls; John of Spearfish, S.D.; and Bob of Madison, Wis.

Hague was a longtime adviser to the Aquinas yearbook and in 1987 was named the St. Thomas Professor of the Year, an annual award that recognizes teaching excellence, interest in students and scholarship. He also received the Father Columba Devlin Award for contributions to education from the Alumni Association of the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

James Kurpius, a 1960 St. Thomas graduate who was one of Hague’s students, established the Paul Hague Endowed Scholarship for Excellence in English “to honor the superb (and sometimes groovy) teaching skills, values and humanity of a remarkable professor, friend, and mentor.”

Funeral services will be announced soon.

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4 Responses

  1. Fred Zimmerman

    I will always remember Paul as an eminent scholar, a fine gentleman, and a wonderful and lasting friend to the University of ST. Thomas. He was exemplary to all who encountered him. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his many friends, to Jerry Lou, and to the other members of Paul’s family.

    Fred Zimmerman
    Professor Emeritus
    University of St. Thomas School of Engineering

  2. Mick Cochrane

    Paul Hague taught me English my first semester at St Thomas, back in the 1970s. I still remember the books we read (The 39 Steps, The Maltese Falcon), his laugh, and his extraordinary generosity. He submitted a story I wrote for the class to the college literary magazine, and my senior year, when my mother died, he wrote me a letter I have kept to this day. Today I am a college professor of English and can only hope to bring a fraction of his warmth and kindness to my own students. Paul Hague was a wonderful man, and I will remember him always with admiration, respect, and gratitude.

  3. Tom King

    Paul Hague was my advisor for 4 1/2 years at St. Thomas, from 1956-61. He was the reason I ended up with an English minor and still is the reason I so love literature. He insisted I take Victorian Lit and it was one of the best courses ever. Soon it is time to open Dickens again. I wish I had been able to take a course from him, but that serendipity never happened. Paul and Jerry Lou were always a delight to visit, too. RIP Paul….you were a great educator and a great friend.