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Brunoniana

From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Kenny, Robert W.

Robert Webb “Pat” Kenny (1902-1983), professor of English, was born in Somerville, Massachusetts, on February 10, 1902. He studied at Mercersberg Academy, and, when the time came to choose between Harvard and Brown, he chose Brown, because, as he said, “I passed up Harvard because Somerville was so close to Cambridge that I would have been expected home for Sunday dinner. Brown was just far enough away so that I could go home if I wanted to or find a convenient excuse not to go home.” Having chosen Brown, Kenny stayed for the rest of his life except for two years, 1927 to 1929, as instructor in English at Northeastern University, one year, 1934-1935, as an exchange professor at the American College in Sofia, Bulgaria, and two stints of military service during World War II and the Korean conflict. He graduated in 1925 and earned his master’s in 1926 and his Ph.D. in 1934. He was an instructor in English for one year after his graduation. He returned as associate professor in 1928, and was named full professor in 1951. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and winning the Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster. He was recalled to active duty from 1951 to 1953. In 1960 he retired from the Army Reserve with the rank of brigadier general and commander of the 76th division. He was appointed dean of students in 1946, then dean of the college from 1947 to 1951 and acting dean of Pembroke in 1961 after the retirement of Nancy Duke Lewis. He retired in 1971. He died in Providence on June 12, 1983. When the University conferred an honorary degree upon him in 1975, the citation noted, “Few men have borne more titles, worn more hats, than you. Twice a dean, first at Brown and then at Pembroke, you administered those two colleges with wisdom, compassion, and an administrator’s most essential ingredient – a gentle but perceptive wit.”

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.


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