In Memory

Robert Burda

It is with great sadness that we record the passing of fellow UMUC Europe faculty member Robert Burda in 2010.

A native of Chicago, Robert came to UMUC in 1986, after a varied and distinguished career as university English teacher and English department head, Congregationalist church pastor, and writer: Robert had two novels published – The Pilgrim Thief in 1977 and Clinemark's Tale in 1980. As UMUC faculty member, Robert taught English literature, writing and speech in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Bahrain, Kuwait, Djibouti and Qatar. He taught his last classes in Germany this past spring. He also continued to write and had a play, Heart Trouble, produced at the Detroit Repertory Theater in 2006. A widely-travelled man aside from his UMUC teaching, Robert visited 108 countries in his life. One of the last of these was Samoa, where in 2009, together with his wife Andrea and friends, he climbed Mount Vaea to visit the grave of one of his great inspirations as a writer, Robert-Louis Stevenson. We shall miss Robert, not least as representing a vanishing breed of individualistic UMUC faculty members, but most of all for what he was uniquely himself: amongst his many endearing characteristics, a voyager in the world of ideas, a communicator of great charm and skill, and a believer in the redeeming value of a humanist education.