RIO GRANDE — A longtime retired professor at the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College who recently returned to the classroom to teach part-time unexpectedly died Monday.
Dr. Joanne Ford, a 41-year member of the URG/RGCC faculty, reportedly passed away Monday, according to an email sent to students from university president Dr. Michelle R. Johnston.
The cause and location of her death was not released, but several students reported seeing an ambulance on campus earlier Monday with emergency personnel attending to “a teacher.”
In the email sent to students, Johnston said she is “deeply saddened” by the news of Ford’s passing.
Ford joined the URG faculty in August 1973 as an instructor of communications and English. She was received tenure status in May 1977 and was promoted to assistant professor of English the same month.
Ford retired in May 2014 and was awarded Faculty Emeritus status to recognize her years of dedication to URG, Johnston said in her email. In fall 2014, Dr. Ford returned to Rio on a part-time basis to teach composition and creative writing courses.
“We were fortunate to have Dr. Ford at Rio this term teaching one class,” Johnston said in her email.
Dr. Ford earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing/English from Ohio University in 1968 and went on to receive both her master’s and doctorate degrees in English from OU in 1969 and 1996, respectively.
“No doubt, Dr. Ford’s contributions to our campus, as well as to the educational and personal lives of current students, alumni and colleagues, have made a larger-than-life impact. Any details regarding arrangements will be shared, if and when available,” Johnston said in her email.
No other information was available at press time.
Reach Michael Johnson at 740-446-2342, ext. 2102, or on Twitter @OhioEditorMike.