President Scott Bierman alerted students, faculty, and staff to the passing of Professor Dan Shea on Wednesday morning, June 20, in a campus-wide email. Below is a copy of what he wrote:
I write this morning with sad news regarding one of our own. Dan Shea, our friend and colleague and a longtime professor of anthropology, passed away in Chile last night. Dan was in the country with five students learning about and engaging in field research at the time of his passing.
Two of Dan’s collaborators were with the group when Dan fell at dinner last night. The two are staying with our students, helping them make arrangements to return to their homes, and working with local authorities.
Dan was a member of our campus and anthropology department since 1968 and a friend and mentor to many. My thoughts are with his family, friends, neighbors, and students, on campus and off, this morning. I admit to finding some comfort in the knowledge that when he passed, Dan was in a place that he loves, doing what he does best—introducing students to the archaeological wonders of Latin America. I hope you find some comfort in that as well.
While it’s still too early to know about any planned memorial services, I can tell you that we will celebrate Dan’s memory and contributions together as soon as is appropriate. Expect to hear about those plans as they come together.
For those of you who knew Dan best, I hope you’ll let me, your colleagues, and your friends know how we can support you at this time. And if you know any of the students returning from the trip, I hope you’ll not hesitate to reach out to them and offer the same. I expect they could use such offers at a time like this.
We will be back in touch with any additional details as they become available. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and each other.