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The Mount Remembers Fr. Daniel C. Nusbaum, Ph.D.

Communications Staff

A memorial mass will be held on December 19 for long-time Mount St. Mary’s University professor, Fr. Daniel C. Nusbaum, Ph.D., who passed away on November 9, 2017.

fr-1.jpgFor nearly 40 years, Nusbaum – also known as the Renaissance Priest – served many roles in addition to professor, including chaplain, undergraduate associate provost and chair of the department of visual and performing arts.

“Fr. Nusbaum spent his long life promoting dignity, refinement, and a passion for the arts,” said Professor of Music and Chair of the Mount’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts Andrew B. Rosenfeld, DMA. According to Rosenfeld, it was Nusbaum who established the foundation for the strong and productive arts department at the Mount.

“For me personally he was a pedagogical and professional mentor, and a primary reason I decided to take a chance with Mount in favor of a much larger and prominent program,” said Rosenfeld. “I will always be grateful for his dignified presence, his warmth and humor, and for the genuine care with which he supported his students, colleagues and community.”

Associate Professor of Theatre Kurt E. Blaugher, Ph.D., recalls one of these instances when Nusbaum’s care with a community leader resulted in major support for the Mount. “Bettie Delaplaine made it very clear from the beginning of the renovation of Flynn Hall into the Delaplaine Fine Arts Center that she was making her donation for two people and for two people only – former President George Houston and Dan Nusbaum,” recalls Blaugher. “That’s the kind of impression he made on her.”

As part of the Mount’s study abroad program, Nusbaum taught students for a year in Florence, Italy, and as college historian, he contributed to Mount Magazine, penning columns that gave readers insight into little known facts about Mary’s Mountain. Additionally, Nusbaum served as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains and Army chaplain at a military base in the area.

For all his accolades, one of Nusbaum’s greatest achievements may have been how he mentored others. “For me personally – I remember walking over to his office about two weeks into my first term as chair of the visual and performing arts department,” recalls Blaugher. “He’d been chair for however many years up to that point, and I thought that, just maybe, I could make some changes. Well, after those first two weeks, I walked into his office, plopped myself down in a chair, and said, ‘No one ever told me that this job was going to be this hard!’ He smiled that Dan Nusbaum smile, and I’d swear he said something like, ‘That’s why I waited until now to let you take the chair; you needed to know exactly hard you have to work to be the chair of that department!’”

Nusbaum’s accomplishments led to the establishment of the Reverend Daniel C. Nusbaum Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship in 1999. This scholarship supports rising sophomores majoring in the fine arts, and is awarded based on both academic merit and financial need.

Nusbaum left the Mount in 2003, returning to his home in Temperance, Michigan to become pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish. In addition, he served at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit as a professor and spiritual advisor, and at several parishes in other parts of Michigan.

The memorial Mass will be held on Tuesday, December 19, at noon in Our Lady of Peace (Pangborn) Chapel at Mount St. Mary’s University.

Communications Staff