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UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
PRESENTED IN MEMORY OF
Urban Joseph Peters Rushton
BY HIS FAMILY
URBAN JOSEPH PETERS RUSHTON was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 12, 1915, and died on December 27, 1949. After attending the Birmingham University School and the Hill School, he entered Princeton University where he took his bachelor's degree in 1936. He received his A.M. from Harvard in 1937, studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and received the Ph.D. in English from Princeton in 1940. After having taught for a term at Princeton, he was called to the University of Virginia, where he was a member of the English faculty for the remaining years of his life. During World War II he was a navigator in Naval Aviation and later received training for Military Government. He was a lieutenant, senior grade, when he left the service.
His accomplishments at Virginia were impressive. He initiated a series of seminars in Contemporary Prose and Poetry which brought to the University many distinguished poets and critics. After his death, as a memorial to him, the series was named the Peters Rushton Seminars. Through his courses in English and in Literary Criticism, his work as an administrator, his published writing, and his gifts to the Princeton and Virginia Libraries, he carried on his fight for livingness in letters and education. At the time of his death he was Assistant Professor of English, Assistant Dean of the College, and Assistant Dean of Students at Virginia.
His achievements were extraordinary for so young a man, but naming them can do little to suggest those personal qualities which made his teaching a rare stimulus, his conversation a delight, and his friendship a constant renewal of faith. No one could know him without feeling himself a better man for having been close to virtue and wisdom and courage. Wherever wit, vigor of mind and human understanding are valued among living men, he will be of their fellowship.