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IU Northwest mourns the loss of former Associate Professor Emeritus of Sociology Robert Lovely

Known for his wit, tireless dedication, and kind and decent spirit, Lovely served the campus for 37 years


IU Northwest file photo
Associate Professor Emeritus of Sociology Robert Lovely, Ph.D

Indiana University Northwest regretfully announced this week the passing of former Associate Professor Emeritus of Sociology Robert “Bob” Lovely, Ph.D., of Chicago. Lovely passed away Saturday, Jan. 21, after a long illness.

A memorial service will take place at 12 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28, at Fourth Presbyterian Church, located on Michigan Avenue at Delaware Place, across the street from the John Hancock building in Chicago.

Those who knew him well spoke this week of Lovely’s quick wit, his decency, and his cheerful, tireless service to IU Northwest. As described by longtime colleague Professor of Sociology Chuck Gallmeier, Ph.D., Bob Lovely was perhaps “the best friend IU Northwest ever had.”

In facing his illness, colleagues say Lovely handled his challenges with “amazing courage, grace and even humor,” putting them at ease as they said goodbye in recent weeks.

When Gallmeier first met Lovely more than 20 years ago, he already had a somewhat legendary reputation with regard to teaching, Gallmeier said. Lovely was the first recipient of the IU Northwest Founders Day Award in 1980, which recognizes outstanding teaching, research and service to the university.

A sociologist by trade, Lovely answered the call in whatever capacity the university needed, including stints as interim chair of the Departments of Psychology and Computer Information Systems. He also spent much of his career heading up the Department of Continuing Studies before coming back to teaching.

Bob Lovely literally did it all, Gallmeier said.

“I remember sitting at a luncheon one day in the Library Conference Center and we were short of staff,” Gallmeier said. “I looked up and there was Bob Lovely bussing tables because it needed to be done.”

This “utility player” as Gallmeier described him, is the same man who helped to found the Department of Sociology – a superb teacher whom Gallmeier credits with giving him the most rewarding teaching experiences of his career.

Retired Professor Emeritus of Sociology Marty Zusman, Ph.D., met Lovely at a meeting of the American Sociological Association when he was recruiting candidates for a position at IU Northwest in 1980. Zusman joined the IU Northwest faculty then and continued to work with Lovely until his retirement in 2008.

Zusman recalled Lovely as an even-tempered man who never uttered an unkind word about anyone.

“During many times of conflict at the university,” Zusman said, “there would be Bob at the center of it, and in the center of it, I mean with humor and tact, he could lower the level of emotion and bring people to some kind of mediated settlement that worked for everybody.”

Lovely received his bachelor’s degree in sociology/psychology from Boston College and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame. He served the IU Northwest campus  from 1971 to 2008.

He earned many awards and served on many committees, including the Faculty Organization Teaching Committee Award in 1978-79; Senior Class Awards in 1978, 1980 and 1981, and another teaching award in 1982.

“He was a major contributing factor to the growth of the Department of Sociology and to IU Northwest,” Zusman said.

IU Northwest extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Bob Lovely.

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Media Contact

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications
981-4358
erikrose@iun.edu