SUNY Oneonta

Department of Philosophy
160 Fitzelle Hall
SUNY Oneonta
Oneonta, NY 13820-4015

Phone: (607) 436-2456
Fax: (607) 436-2435



In Memoriam Dr. Anthony Roda


Dr. Anthony Roda
September 10, 1939 to March 4, 2010

Professor Anthony Roda, one of the founding members of the Oneonta Philosophy Department, passed away Thursday evening, March 4, 2010. He will be deeply missed by friends, family, colleagues, and a host of current and former students.

Professor Roda received a BS in Mathematics from St. Peter’s College in 1962, an MA in Philosophy from Washington University in 1964, and a PhD in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University in 1968. In 1967, Dr. Roda was hired as an Instructor at the State University of New York at Oneonta where he helped establish a Department of Philosophy and, in collaboration with his new colleagues, helped set forth the standards that would anchor a rigorous major as well as a flexible minor in the discipline.

Dr. Roda was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1969, Associate Professor in 1970, and Professor in 1991. During his 43+ years at Oneonta, he served on numerous college committees and shouldered the responsibilities of Department Chair at several key points throughout the growth and development of the program.

Always a student as well as a teacher, Dr. Roda continued his professional development at the post-doctoral level with prestigious awards to study in an NEH Summer Seminar at Yale, two NEH Summer Institutes at Yale, and an NEH Summer Institute at Dartmouth. The NEH Summer Seminar focused on “Dante and the Philosophy of Education in the Middle Ages” (1994). The Institutes explored the writings of Dante (1986), Petrarch (1989) and Boccaccio (1991).

Professor Roda’s scholarly contributions included a series of papers and reviews, as well as translations from Italian to English of Paolo Gambazzi’s “Dialectic of Abstract and Concrete in Whitehead” and Giovanni Piana’s “History and Existence in Husserl's Manuscripts.” Perhaps his greatest contribution, however, was an unassuming and often thankless one. As Editor of Educational Change (official journal of the New York State Foundations of Education Association) from 1995 to 2010, Dr. Roda encouraged and published the work of others, cultivating broad-based interdisciplinary academic exchange on matters of contemporary pedagogic and social importance.

Dr. Roda’s passing will leave an immeasurable hole in our lives, our department, and our institution for years to come. At a personal level, I had hoped to meet with him last Saturday to talk about this year's undergraduate conference and get his recommendations for students to serve as discussants. His generous funding of the Dominick Roda Memorial Award to recognize and reward conference discussants is a simple but powerful statement of his commitment to education, his egalitarian values, and his passion for vigorous philosophical exchange. Truth is always important to a Philosopher, but for Tony being right was secondary to being informed, eloquent, and engaged. His unrelenting optimism, his ability to find and focus on the good in everyone he met, and his Herculean ability to bear with grace and dignity burdens that would have crushed or embittered most people will continue to inspire us for decades to come.

In loving memory of a valued colleague and cherished friend,
Douglas Shrader
March 8, 2010

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