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Colleges, colleagues celebrate former dean with ‘Kiger Hour’

September 20th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By David Bowman

LOGAN—“He had an infectious grin,” she said. “He was such a rascal.”

That’s how retired English professor and former associate dean Christine Hult remembers Gary Kiger, the USU dean who died in office in 2008.

Kiger, who was dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences from 2004 until his death of brain tumor, created the “HASS Hour” as a way to connect the college with the Cache Valley community.

The HASS Hour has been renamed and rededicated in Kiger’s name, as more than 120 USU and community supporters gathered at Hamilton’s Steak & Seafood restaurant to remember Kiger and to applaud his vision.

With this summer’s reorganization of the College of HASS into two new colleges—the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Caine College of the Arts—the HASS Hour was renamed to honor Kiger. The monthly event’s objective hasn’t changed, however, as two new deans explained Thursday.

“The goal of the Kiger Hour is to celebrate the great work of the faculty and students of both our colleges,” said Dr. John Allen, dean of the new College of HSS.

Allen was hired by Kiger in the department of Sociology, Social Work and Anthropology. During the Thursday Kiger Hour, he acknowledged Kiger’s wife, Deborah Byrnes, a professor in USU’s Eccles College of Education, and introduced his “partner,” Craig Jessop, dean of the new Arts College. “Together, we continue to celebrate the contributions of Gary Kiger and our two colleges to Cache Valley and Utah,” he said.

Jessop, who conducted the Mormon Tabernacle Choir before becoming head of the music department at USU, also welcomed attendees to the first Kiger Hour. “This is such a wonderful opportunity to gather every month and share the things that make USU great,” Jessop said.

The Kiger Hour is a monthly social gathering designed to showcase the faculty and students of the colleges of Arts and HSS, who offer short presentations of new research and classes.

Hult, an emeritus English professor who worked closely with Kiger as associate HASS dean, remembers him as kind, energetic and hard-working. “He had more energy than a 10-year-old,” she said.

Theatre professor Dennis Hassan applauded the rededicated Kiger Hour. “Gary was an amazing and inspiring man,” he said.

Upcoming Kiger Hour presentations:

• Oct. 21: Dr. Cathy Ferrand Bullock, Department of Journalism & Communication, on her recent research on how the Black Press of Little Rock, Ark., covered the 1957 Central High School desegregation crisis.

• Nov. 18:

• Dec. 16:


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