In Memoriam: Former HGP teacher Vince Hausmann
Posted 01/19/2017 08:23AM

In Memoriam: Former HGP teacher Vince Hausmann

Vince Hausmann, Ph.D., a former Holy Ghost Prep teacher who went on to become an award-winning English professor at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., passed away on January 9 from lung cancer at the age of 57. 

Hausmann taught British literature, world literature, academic writing, and freshman honors English at Holy Ghost Prep from 1984-1987. In addition, he moderated the HGP school newspaper, coached tennis, and judged forensics competitions.

“Vince was a genius,” says Tony Figliola. “He was a tough teacher, but inspiring. He challenged kids to be better than they thought they could be.”

Peter Naccarato ’88, the interim associate dean for academic affairs at Marymount Manhattan College in New York, was among those at Holy Ghost Prep truly inspired by Hausmann.

“Vince Hausmann was a very dear friend and his death is a real loss for me and for the many students whose lives he touched over his long career as a teacher at both the high school and college levels. I took several classes with Vince, including British literature and world literature and they were transformative for me,” Naccarato recalls. “It was in Vince’s classroom that I realized that I wanted to become a teacher – I wanted to do what he did! With his help and guidance, I completed my degree in English at Villanova and then went on the graduate school, earning my Ph.D. in English at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Vince was not only an initial inspiration for my chosen career path, he was also a mentor and guide at every step along the way.”

Hausmann was a champion for social justice and human rights who loved art, film, literature, fashion, and spending what he called “quantity time” with friends and his sister’s family. Hausmann deplored cars—his preferred mode of transportation was walking—and he was terrified of mice to the point that he could not even watch Disney/Pixar’s 2007 film Ratatouille.

Hausmann left Holy Ghost Prep in 1987 to pursue his Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr College. Once armed with his doctorate, Hausmann became an associate professor of English at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., where he taught cinema studies and literary theory. He wrote a critically acclaimed book entitled Cinema, Technologies of Visibilities, and the Reanimation of Desire. Hausmann was also published on Bernardo Bertolucci, Joseph Conrad, and Paul Bowles, and co-edited the Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature.  

“As many students from HGP and Furman University are sharing memories of Vince on Facebook, I’m reminded of how inspiring it was to sit in his classroom,” Naccarato says. “He was an amazing teacher who was able to balance perfectly pushing students in their thinking and giving them positive encouragement. Whether responding to a student’s comment during class discussions or to a student’s paper, Vince always began with positive feedback but then found just the right way to push the student further to deepened his analysis and sharpen his thinking. 

“Vince was also a role model for pushing boundaries and not accepting the status quo—he insisted that his students think critically and use the study of literature to interrogate the world around them. He was a champion for social justice, human rights, and equality and he modeled how teaching could play a crucial role in advancing them.”

A 1977 graduate of Bishop Neumann High School (now Neumann-Goretti High School) in South Philadelphia, Hausmann majored in English at Villanova University, and then earned both his masters degree and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College.

A memorial gathering in honor of Vince Hausmann will be held on Sunday, February 12th at the Wyndham Alumnae House at Bryn Mawr College. All are welcome.