The Association for the Study of Higher Education mourns the loss of Dr.
Peter M. Magolda,
who passed away on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Peter was Professor Emeritus of Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Peter had been a beloved faculty member at Miami since 1994.
Peter loved music, photography, and his life and the people in it. He was an extraordinary writer, mentor, friend, and professor. His passing is a tremendous loss for the field, the Miami SAHE community, and most importantly, Marcia Baxter-Magolda and his family.
Peter earned a B.A. in psychology from LaSalle College in Philadelphia, an M.A. in Student Personnel from The Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Indiana University in Bloomington where his dissertation was titled, "A Quest for Community: An Ethnographic Study of a Residential College." Peter continued to pursue ethnographic research throughout his career, and one of his most notable books was an ethnography of campus custodians published by
in 2016. His "Contested Issues" books co-edited with wife, Marcia, were also well known in the higher education field.
Peter delivered dozens of presentations at ASHE conferences, most of them with his students. He was the chair of the ASHE Dissertation of the Year award in 2009 and 2010. He also served on the ASHE Higher Education Report Series editorial board for a number of years. Peter was recognized with the ASHE Mentoring Award in 2013 for his exemplary and sustained contributions to the development of emerging scholars.
As one example, Peter's former student, Alandis Johnson, said,
"Peter was such a gem. He was always observing what was happening around him, like any true ethnographer, and he delighted in illuminating the stories of people and things that frequently go overlooked. He was such a brilliant teacher, and beyond that, an incredibly humble person." The below photo was taken by Alandis during one of their weekend photography outings. Alandis shared, "Peter mentioned that it [this photo] was one of his favorites that someone had taken of him. True to form, Peter is hiding behind the camera, yet still seeing the world with his own unique vision." We will all miss him greatly.