Last fall, August 28, 2015, Dr. Roma Hoff passed away. Since a newsletter was not published during the past academic year, we would like to include this in memoriam in our current issue.
The human desire for immortality was one of the central themes in the works of the Spanish writer and philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno. I bring this up not because Roma wished for immortality, but rather because in the most beautiful of ways, she did achieve it.
Roma taught Spanish at UWEC from 1965 until her retirement in 1996. The list of her accomplishments, awards, accolades and service is too long to recount here. Suffice it to say that she was an outstanding scholar, respected and beloved teacher, and passionate supporter of everything languages.
Her specialty was Spanish education and the immortality that Roma achieved is evidenced by the countless students who became teachers themselves and who in turn are introducing their students to the wonders of learning a second language and discovering new cultures and perspectives. Many of these students will some day continue on with the same noble endeavor so that, in the end, generations will have been fed by the seeds that Roma so lovingly planted all those years ago.
As we have said many times in presenting the Roma Hoff Scholarship during our annual Department Honors programs, Roma, spelled backwards, is amor. I believe that Unamuno would agree: love is the eternal gift, and we were blessed to have been the recipients of all that Roma had to give.