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UL's longest-serving faculty member dies

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 19:17:56-04

Services will be held later this year for UL English professor Maurice W. duQuesnay, who died last week at the age of 85.

He began teaching at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 1968, making him the longest serving faculty member at the university. An associate professor in the Department of English, duQuesnay dedicated his life to the instruction of thousands of students through the years and maintained life-long friendships with many of them. He also worked to cultivate closer connections between the educational mission of UL Lafayette and the wider community it serves, his obituary states.

In 1980, duQuesnay established the Flora Levy Humanities Series, thanks to a generous endowment to the university by his dear friend, Flora Plonsky Levy. The annual Levy Lectures brought internationally renowned writers and thinkers to the campus of UL Lafayette, including Noble Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer, psychologist and Holocaust survivor Bruno Bettelheim, and Professor Sophie Freud, granddaughter of Sigmund Freud.

Later, the family of painter George Rodrigue also left an endowment to the university in duQuesnay's care, which was used to establish the annual Rodrigue Lecture. For more than 40 years, duQuesnay's faithful stewardship of these endowments has enriched the intellectual life of the university and encouraged the pursuit of lifelong learning among the general public.

An active part of Lafayette's Jewish community, duQuesnay supported a number of charitable causes. He was particularly devoted to animal welfare. Born to an historically prominent family in New Orleans, duQuesnay was a source of abundant knowledge about Louisiana's rich history and literature, especially pertaining to 19th century Creole culture.

He was a favorite storyteller among his friends, colleagues, and students who, in turn, have delighted in telling colorful stories about duQuesnay, how he touched their lives, and his long, influential history at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

In lieu of funeral services, duQuesnay will be honored in a memorial event on campus later this year at the next Levy Lecture. Although he leaves behind no immediate family, duQuesnay's memory is cherished by his many friends and admirers.

Delhomme Funeral Home, 1011 Bertrand Dr., Lafayette, LA is in charge of funeral arrangements.