It is with great sadness that the College shares the news of the passing of Marleigh Grayer Ryan, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (1981-1990) and professor/chair in the Asian Studies program (1990-1998).
In addition to her leadership role as dean, Marleigh took great pleasure in teaching. During her time at SUNY New Paltz, she developed several courses at the College including Beauty in Japan, Japanese Fiction, Japanese Poetry, Japanese Theatre, and a historical study of Asian Americans with particular emphasis on their artistic achievements. She also worked closely with Professor Emeritus Ronald Knapp (Geography/Asian Studies) in developing the New York Conference on Asian Studies. She, and Knapp, chaired a major conference sponsored by the organization in fall 1998. In addition, Marleigh wrote two books and had numerous articles about modern Japanese fiction published during her tenure. She also served as the first Executive Secretary of the New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS) from 1990 to 1999.
Prior to coming to SUNY New Paltz, Marleigh served as chair of the Asian Languages and Literatures department at the University of Iowa. From 1988 to 1989, she served as a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and also spent time in Japan as a Ford Foundation Fellow.