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Nicholas M. Paley

Adapted from: "Nicholas Miroslav Paley" Press File.

     Nicholas Miroslav Paley, professor of modern languages and literatures at Beloit College from 1950-1977, rose above most in service to Beloit College and his fellow Ukranians. It was for this service that he was awarded emeritus status by the Beloit College faculty and Board of Trustees in 1977.

     Paley came from a diverse geographical and educational background. Born in the Ukraine in 1911, he excelled in his education. In 1930, he co-founded and co-edited a literary periodical before moving on to complete his secondary education in Poland. Paley briefly studied philosophy at the University of Rome, where he received a doctorate in medicine in 1940. Paley relocated once again to join his father in the United States, and married Mary Temosok, a first generation Ukranian born in Pennsylvania.

     Paley received his master's degree in romance languages and literatures from Ohio State University in 1947. Two years later, he published his first book, "Hopeful Days," a collection of Ukranian short stories. Shince coming to Beloit in 1950, Paley earned his Ph.D. in Latin American literature at Inter-American University in Mexico.

     At Beloit, Paley was a co-founder and chair of the Russian Studies program, which was phased out in 1972. The first holder of the Harry C. Moore Chair in Languages, Paley was selected to be an honorary member of the Senior Bench chapter of Mortar Board in 1988. In April of that same year, Paley was given honorary membership in the Alumni Association, a recognition bestowed to only a handful of individuals. In the presentation, Paley was cited for "distinguished service as a teacher and significant contributions to the life of our college for over four decades."

     Paley was the member of many professional and literary associations, including the Ukrainian Academies of Sciences, and was listed in numerous "Who's Who" guides and literary dictionaries. He has been widely published, both as a critic and an author. Paley wrote most of his original poetry and ficiton in Ukrainian or Spanish and was reknowned for his translations of major works from Spanish into Ukrainian.

     Much of Paley's work was aided by his wife, Mary, who died in 1974. Paley dedicated his book of humorous, satirical and serious sketches, "Sentimental Ukraine," to her memory.

     "In some ways we co-authored the book...All I did was make her observations into sketches by dressing them in literary style," Paley explained modestly. He and his wife had two children: Nicholas Borislav and Lydia Anna-Maria.

     After retiring in 1977, Paley continued instructing both Russian and Italian courses on a part-time basis, and continued to create original works in Ukrainian.

Paley died July 23, 1994 in Beloit, Wisconsin.


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