To: The St. Lawrence Community
From: William L. Fox, President
Date: March 2, 2010
Subject: In Memory: Brian Kirby
With a sadness shared by many Laurentians across many years, I write to tell you of the death last evening of Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Brian Kirby. He had been receiving medical care in Burlington at the time of his passing.
A faculty member at St. Lawrence for 33 years, Brian joined our community in 1966 after earning his bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1958, serving as an officer in the Navy and teaching at Duke University, where he completed his graduate studies. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Duke in 1970.
Department chair from 1987 to 1998, Brian’s academic interests included philosophy of science, theory of knowledge, symbolic logic and environmental ethics. Brian and his wife Sally directed the University’s program in London for one year, and he was a creative leader of January term courses that varied from, in his words “all you ever wanted to know about Leibnitz to the Caribbean sailing experience.” In addition to publishing in the field of philosophy, he also wrote an article, "The Loss and Recovery of the Schooner Amity: An Episode in Salem Maritime History," published in the December 1989 issue of The New England Quarterly.
Lynn and I send our heartfelt sympathies to Sally Kirby, to their children, extended family, former students and friends, especially their fellow faculty emeriti who cherished the time spent over many a long and stimulating dinner together. Brian was one of the first of the St. Lawrence elders to greet us when we arrived in Canton last summer, a kindness we will remember always.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. in Herring-Cole, with a reception to follow.