Marcel Andrade, Esteemed Spanish Professor, will be
by Campus Community
UNC Asheville Spanish Professor Marcel Andrade, who a month ago was
grading final exams at his hospital room, died Monday following a
five-year battle with leukemia. He taught at UNCA for 30 years, serving
for several years as the chair of the Foreign Languages Department.
Andrade was a noted author of some 15 books of Spanish literary
classics written for students studying the Spanish language, including
"Don Quijote," "Celestina" and "The Journal of
Columbus." He published his last book, "Classic Spanish Stories
and Plays," in 2001. His books are used at universities in the U.S.,
Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and throughout the Spanish-speaking
In 1995, Andrade was knighted by Spain for his work. The knighthood, in
the scientific-academic Order of Alfonso the 10th, has been conferred on
only two other Americans. UNCA also recognized him for his many roles on
campus, naming him a Feldman Professor in 1998.
"While his many awards were well-deserved, he was most notably a
consummate teacher who had a real concern for his students, " said
long-time colleague, Henry Stern, a German professor and coordinator of
the Fulbright program at UNCA. "These last few weeks, he was
dictating his final exams from his hospital bed and a colleague would
bring the exams back for him to grade. He was always very aware of his
duties to his students and tried to do his best by his students."
Noted for his comprehensive, difficult tests, Andrade was also loved
for his enthusiasm in class. "Long before I came to work at UNCA,
I studied Spanish for two years with Dr. Andrade. He was an encouraging
professor who ably brought to the classroom his love of the language, its
history and its culture," said Merianne Epstein, UNCA Public
Andrade had a deep desire to make intercultural relations a reality. A
native of Cuenca, Ecuador, he was the driving force behind UNCA's exchange
agreement with Ecuador's Universidad del Azuay and arranged for some 200
UNCA students to study abroad over the past 25 years. He was also
instrumental in preparing six students for Fulbright fellowships in
Ecuador and Peru.
He was also able to bring some of Ecuador's best minds to UNCA. Claudio
Malo Gonzalez, a leading figure in intellectual and cultural affairs in
Ecuador, served as Fulbright Visiting Professor of Humanities at UNCA in
1989, helping UNCA to expand its cultural understanding and
internationalize its curriculum. The former president of Ecuador, Rodrigo
Borja, came to campus for an 18-day stay in 1993 to lecture on
contemporary Latin American problems.
Andrade had a lighter side as well. An accomplished accordionist, he
would often invite groups of students for dinner and later in the evening
entertain them with Spanish and American tunes. And, according to Stern,
Andrade was good friends with Dick Contino, one of the world's leading
accordionists, and learned the finer points of playing from him.
- Tom Byers, Special Assistant to the Chancellor, 828/251-6500
- UNCA Public Information, 828/251-6526