April 12, 2021 at 5:23 pm

University Mourns Loss of Spanish Professor Emeritus Abelardo Moncayo

Abelardo Moncayo, portrait

Abelardo Moncayo

The Ohio University community mourns the loss of Associate Professor Emeritus of Spanish Abelardo Moncayo, who retired in 2008 after 38 years of service to the Modern Languages Department.

Moncayo passed away at the age of 85 on April 7, according to his obituary. “He had a true love for writing and would spend much of his spare time creating poetry. In 2004, he became a United States citizen and proudly voted for the first time in the 2008 election.”

He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland.

He inspired several generations of OHIO Spanish majors, minors and graduate students in his classes on Golden Age Spanish literature. “A hallmark of his teaching style, most evident in his classes on the comedia, was Moncayo’s ability to connect literature to real life through anecdotes that both amused and enlightened his students. A life-long scholar of Cervantes’s El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, Moncayo’s Quijote classes modeled for students a wonderful synergy between teaching and research. Colleagues will miss Moncayo’s calmly delivered wisdom at faculty meetings and his generous smile in the mailroom,” reads a department newsletter announcing his retirement.

“I met Abelardo when I arrived in Athens 25 years ago. He was such a kind soul. Every time I ran into him when we were in Ellis Hall he would say to me: ‘Emilia, you are the first organized Andalusian woman,’ which I felt it was a form of praise and encouragement in my early years. I admired and respected him deeply for his dedication to Golden Age Peninsular Literature – he taught his popular Don Quijote de la Mancha course –  and for his devotion to his students. He was also a magnificent storyteller! I could spent hours listening to him. Dr. Moncayo was a real gentleman, an incredible Humanist and an exemplary teacher,” says Dr. Emilia Alonso-Sameño.

“I will always remember how kind and welcoming Abelardo Moncayo Andrade was back in 1990 when I started teaching at Ohio University as an Assistant Professor. He helped me navigate the course offerings for classes on conversation and composition in Spanish. Over the years, I witnessed how much undergraduate and graduate students looked up to him for guidance, not only at the academic level, but also at the human level. He was a true educator and an inspiration! ¡Luz para tu Camino, querido colega! [Light for your Path, dear colleague!],” says Dr. Daniel Torres.

In the 1980s, Moncayo established the Ohio University Chapter Pi Rho/Tau of the national collegiate Hispanic honor society Sigma Delta Pi.

Read his obituary.

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