Biology Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Obituaries

Remembering Robert McCourt, Prof. Emeritus of Biology

The Hofstra community is saddened to learn that Dr. Robert P. McCourt, professor emeritus of biology (pictured above, left, with Geology Professor Charles Merguerian), passed away on December 12, at the age 86. He taught at Hofstra for more than 45 years and retired from the faculty in the mid-1990s. Professor and Chair of Biology Russell Burke asked current faculty to share some of their memories:

Professor Robert Seagull

“I worked with [Bob] in the Biology Department at Hofstra for four years before his retirement.  As a new faculty member at the time, I found my conversations with him both rewarding and enjoyable.  He always seemed to be willing to help and support new faculty, like me.  When I became chair of the department some years later, I used my interactions with [him] as a model for my interactions with new faculty. “

Biology Laboratory Director Carol St. Angelo

“He was a very kind man.  I know he taught embryology.  This was in the days of blackboards and colored chalk, and when you taught in a room after he did there was lot of work to do cleaning the board.”

Professor Chris Sanford:

“He taught classic embryology. He was, I believe, well known for staying after class to help students who needed it – he was very student orientated and was in the best tradition of Hofstra’s teaching excellence and he really cared about the students. His chalk drawings were masterpieces – He could have made a fortune as an artist.”

Professor Peter Daniel:

“I second everything that has been said. His chalk drawings of chick embryos were truly immaculate. As a classic embryologist he was the last of his breed.”

Professor Emerita Dorothy Pumo

“Bob was always helpful and steadfast. He had a good attitude and cared very much about teaching and learning. I missed his contributions when he retired, and I am sure that his family will miss him very much.”

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