In Memoriam: Ava Preacher, 1953-2021

Ava Preacher, a professional specialist emeritus who served for 25 years as an assistant dean in the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana,, died earlier this summer at her residence. She was 67.

A native of Washington, D.C. in Washington, D.C., Preacher spent her formative years in Iowa, graduating as valedictorian from St. Katharine’s School in Davenport. She spent a year at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, before completing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa. She studied for a year in Paris at the Centres des Etudes Cinematographiques and then earned a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Iowa.

Preacher taught at the University of Iowa and Wayne State University in Detroit before coming to the University of Notre Dame in 1985. She began her tenure at Notre Dame teaching in what was then the department of communication and theater for six years, then serving as director of the gender studies program for three years. From 1993 until her retirement in 2018, she served in the Office for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Arts and Letters as an assistant dean.

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