Everett (Akam) Ramsay, a senior lecturer for the Honors Program and the First-Year Seminar Program, died Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, due to complications from a bicycle accident on Lake Mary Road in Flagstaff. He was 65.
A road cyclist, skate skier, rock climber and fly fisherman, Dr. Ramsay pursued his life with vigor and passion.
Born Feb. 22, 1947, in Germany and raised in France, Dr. Ramsay brought with him an awareness of the larger world. He earned his B.S. and an M.A. in political science from South Dakota State University. He also earned an M.A. and his Ph.D. in history from the University of Rochester. He was a history professor from 1991-2009 at Casper College in Wyoming, where he also founded and was director of the Veritas Honors Institute.
He authored the book Transnational America: Cultural Pluralist Thought in the 20th Century (Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), as well as some scholarly articles. He had been working on a book about George Orwell, the British novelist of Animal Farm and 1984.
In 2008, Dr. Ramsay married Anne Scott, professor of English and Honors professor, who called him “a loyal and loving husband and a great stepfather.”
Dr. Ramsay came to NAU in 2009 to teach for the Honors Program and moved the hearts and minds of his students through such courses as The Search for American Identity, Humanity and Inhumanity, and Systems of War and Peace, among others.
He thrived in the academy through his passions for teaching, discussing current events and connecting with his students and colleagues.
“Ev was a true gentleman and scholar who was well grounded in so many complex areas and disciplines,” said Wolf Gumerman, director of the Honors Program. “The depth and care that he put into his teaching was truly remarkable.”
Such careful attention is reflected in the feedback several students shared in the 2011 survey of NAU sophomores, where he was cited as a “great educator” who encouraged critical thinking.
“He pushed students, but he also was so caring—not just about their learning but about them personally,” Gumerman said.
Dr. Ramsay is survived by his wife, Anne Scott, and her son, Gavin; his beautiful daughter, Faye Lane; two sisters, Beth Dixon and Suzanne Delyons; and three grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, in Cline Library Assembly Hall. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Everett Ramsay Memorial Scholarship Fund (#5337), NAU Foundation, PO Box 22459, Flagstaff, AZ 86002-2459.