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In Memoriam: Emeritus Professor of English Steve Young

Pomona College Emeritus Professor of English Steve Young

Emeritus Professor of English Steven C. Young passed away on April 20, 2014.  He was 75. Memorials are planned for July 19 and August 16.

A graduate of Princeton University, Steve Young earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Berkeley, also studying at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon. In 1967, he joined the Pomona College faculty, where he taught courses in British, American, and European drama for more than three decades. His teaching was characterized by “a desire to stimulate the minds of young writers and actors and an insatiable mastery of the material,” according to a 2004 Pomona College Magazine article. He himself said that he viewed the classroom as a “field on which forces for change, inner and outer, meet.”

Professor Young was known for classes that combined analysis with performance. A skilled carpenter, he built a mobile stage on which he performed Samuel Beckett’s works in a tour of the western states. He then installed the stage, complete with sound and lighting systems, in a basement classroom of  Crookshank Hall, where his students took part in traditional classroom discussions spiced with the first-hand experience of dramatic performance. In addition to teaching, Professor Young published essays on topics ranging from Tudor and Stuart drama to 20th-century Irish journalism, wrote poetry and fiction, and produced, directed and/or acted in numerous plays both on and off campus.  

Professor Young retired as the Dr. Mary Ann Vanderzyl Reynolds Professor of English in 2004. In retirement he was active in theatre on Lopez Island, Washington, and continued to pursue a variety of other interests, among them deep-sea fishing and competitive auto racing.

Professor Young’s survivors include his wife, Susan; his children, Marka, Josh, Gretchen and Meredith; his stepchildren Lindsay and Jon; and his sister Mary.  They are planning memorials to be held at Christ Church (Episcopal) in Ontario, California, on July 19 at 3 p.m., and on Lopez Island the afternoon of August 16.

Donations payable to the UW Foundation (noting "IMO Steve Young/Dr. Rengan" in the memo portion of the check) may be made to a fund established in his memory to support research by Dr. Ramesh Rengan, his radiation oncologist, and mailed to:

Holly Menzie
UW Medicine Advancement
Box 358045
Seattle, WA  98195-8045

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