Concordia Mourns Gordon Lell
Apr 29, 2009
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CONCORDIA COLLEGE MOURNS THE DEATH OF LONGTIME
FACULTY MEMBER GORDON LELL
Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., English professor Dr. V. Gordon Lell, 74, died early Saturday morning, April 25, at his Moorhead home. Lell was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in December 2008. Always dedicated to his students, Lell finished teaching the remainder of his first semester course even after his diagnosis.
“Like the great Shakespeare whom he taught, Gordy understood people at a deep level and he always touched the heartstrings of his students,” says Concordia College President Pamela Jolicoeur.
The funeral for Dr. Lell will be at 4 p.m., April 30 in the Knutson Center Centrum at Concordia College.
Lell earned his bachelor’s degree in 1947 from Western State College, Gunnison, Colo., a master’s degree in 1964 from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and his doctorate in 1970 from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1957 to 1987. He served as an instructor in the English department at the University of Nebraska before joining the Concordia English department faculty in 1970.
Lell specialized in English Renaissance literature and was widely known for his expertise on Shakespeare. Since 1970, Lell taught 80 sections of Shakespeare at Concordia to more than 4600 students. His Shakespeare courses became so popular he even taught Shakespeare through F/M Communiversity and alumni session in the Twin Cities.
He organized approximately 100 off-campus trips to theatre productions at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg and other theatres in the United States and abroad. He also led 24 May Seminars and five Exploration Seminars abroad. Upon hearing of Lell’s diagnosis, alumni and the campus community wanted to honor him for his years of dedicated teaching. Fundraising to establish the V. Gordon Lell Endowed Scholarship is currently underway.
Concordia College is a four-year liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America offering 78 majors, including 18 honors majors, and 12 preprofessional programs.