The Hofstra community is saddened by the passing of David Christman ‘62, who served as dean of New College, the School of University Studies and the director of the Hofstra University Museum. He earned a BA in fine arts (art history) from Hofstra and first joined the New College faculty as an instructor in the English composition program. He quickly rose through the ranks and became a dean at the age of 28.
He was awarded a Hofstra Presidential Medal in 2002 for his more than 40 years of service to Hofstra University. He was an early advocate of interdisciplinary learning, team teaching and the benefits of study abroad. He championed faculty ideas and student creativity and was known on campus for his easy going manner and a wardrobe that included a wide array of cowboy boots.
Dean Christman remained at Hofstra another four years past his retirement from New College and SUS as he continued as director of the Hofstra University Museum.
Beth Neville, an alumna, former assistant dean of New College and current associate director for The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, remembers, “David was my professor, mentor, boss and, above all, friend. He expected and cultivated nothing less than excellence in his students. He was a tireless worker who would burn candles through the night to make sure everything was right for the rest of us in the morning.”
In memory of Dean David Christman, Hofstra University flags will be flown at half-staff.