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Beloved professor emeritus to be memorialized Friday

At the 2008 retirement reception, Buzicky enjoyed the company of colleagues.
At the 2008 retirement reception, Buzicky enjoyed the company of colleagues.
Photo by Julie Michener.

The Memorial Mass for Charles Buzicky, Ph.D., will take place 10:30 a.m., Friday, Jan. 6, at St. Rose of Lima Church, 2048 Hamline Ave. North, Roseville, Minn.

Born in 1935, Charles Buzicky had an early connection to St. Kate’s—his mother, Bess Jelinek Buzicky, was a graduate of the St. Joseph Hospital Class of 1928 (a precursor to St. Catherine University’s Henrietta Schmoll School of Health). She preceded him in death in 1993.  He is survived by his sister, Marguerite Buzicky.

Buzicky earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in history at the University of Minnesota and joined St. Kate’s history faculty in 1963 where he would serve for 45 years, retiring as a professor emeritus in 2008.

He was a beloved history professor and mentor to students, a senior statesman among faculty and a campus fixture as bearer of the University’s ceremonial mace in academic processions.

A leader in St. Catherine University’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, Buzicky was an advisor to five University presidents, historian of St. Kate’s early years and a tireless advocate for the liberal arts.

He served as chair of the History Department for a total of more than 20 years and engaged in the work and leadership of many University committees.

Academic excellence honored

His dedication to the study of European history earned him honors, including a Fulbright Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research in London, England.  In addition, from 1978 to 1982, he was project director of a National Endowment for the Humanities–sponsored “Project in Christian Humanism,” that involved St. Olaf College, Luther College and St. John’s University as well as St. Kate’s.

He was honored twice with the “Outstanding Teacher Award” (1968 and 1980) and in 2005 was named to the St. Catherine “Centennial 100” that acknowledged those who most influenced the institution’s development. A devotee of the University’s first president, Mother Antonia McHugh, he invented the Mother Antonia McHugh Award in 1973 to celebrate the centennial of her birth.

Buzicky was a sophisticated orchestra and opera aficionado and served as a classical music reviewer for the Minneapolis Star while earning his undergraduate degree at the U of M.  His collection of 20,000 LPs came to St. Kate’s as in-kind donations between 1987 and 1994.

Buzicky was revered across campus as St. Catherine's "Renaissance Man” for his lifelong love affair with learning, his passion for languages and the arts, his knowledge of music and wine as well as his beloved rose garden.

Campus memorial service planned

A memorial service in Our Lady of Victory Chapel on the University’s St. Paul campus will be held later this spring.

Jan. 4, 2012 by Julie Michener

See also: Faculty