In Memoriam: Mary Ellen Reilly, 1941-2022

Mary Ellen Reilly, a long-time faculty member at the University of Rhode Island, died on September 14. She was 81 years old.

A native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Dr. Reilly was a graduate of the College of Our Lady of the Elms in Chicopee, Massachusetts, where her mother was also an alumna. After graduating from college, she taught second grade for a year in Pittsfield, then entered the convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield. Later, she left the order.

Dr. Reilly earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She then joined the faculty at the University of Rhode Island in 1973. During a 30-year teaching career, Dr. Reilly was one of the founders of the women’s studies program. She played a major role in a successful lawsuit that in 1985 earned a measure of pay equity for women faculty. Dr. Reilly was internationally recognized for her groundbreaking research on sexual harassment of college students.

Professor Reilly retired in 2003.

Filed Under: In Memoriam

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