The following email was sent to faculty, staff, and emeriti faculty by President Kim Cassidy on March 21.
Recently, I wrote with the sad news that Robert Burlin, Mary E. Garrett Alumnae Professor Emeritus of English, passed away on March 7, 2016. Today I wish to share more news of his career and time at Bryn Mawr. I hope you will join me in extending condolences to Bob’s colleagues in the English Department and all members of the community who knew him.
Professor Burlin received his BA, MA and PhD from Yale University. He came to Bryn Mawr in 1960 as an Assistant Professor in the English Department and was successively named Associate Professor in 1967 and Full Professor in 1970. In 1980, he was appointed Mary E. Garrett Professor of English, a position he held until his retirement in 1997.
Bob’s teaching included courses on Chaucer, Readings in Middle English, Medieval Narrative, Old English Language and Literature, and Modern British Drama, among others. A dedicated Chaucerian, he supervised a number of the department's graduate students, and as Chairman helped attract a number of fine members of the faculty to the College. During a period of building renovation Bob proposed the move of the English faculty from their offices in Thomas and Pembroke basement across New Gulph Road to their present location in "English House," achieving a much desired consolidated department after many years of separation.
In addition to publishing numerous articles and book reviews, Bob published The Old English “Advent”: A Typological Commentary in 1968, Old English Studies in Honour of John C. Pope in 1974, and Chaucerian Fiction, in 1977.
President Emeritus Pat McPherson recollects, “Bob was widely read and most astute culturally and good conversations could be held with him on a rich variety of subjects."
Bob is predeceased by his wife Katrin, Associate Professor of English at Bryn Mawr. At this time, there are no plans for a memorial service.