Vasant V. Merchant, professor emeritus of humanities, died May 8, 2009, in Sedona. She was 76.

Dr. Merchant was born Sept. 11, 1933, in Bombay, India. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Bombay, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate from the University of Southern California.

She taught humanities and religious studies at NAU from 1966 until her retirement in 1995.

“Dr. Merchant had great enthusiasm for teaching and a real devotion to her students,” said Tom Clemen, professor emeritus of humanities who also chaired the Department of Humanities during Merchant’s tenure. “Beyond the classroom she demonstrated a broad sense of mutual human understanding and a desire to promote international peace and cooperation. Vasant has left our community a better place for having lived here. Her graciousness, her generosity and her deep human spirit will be sorely missed.”

Dr. Merchant was the editor and publisher of the International Journal of Humanities and Peace. She wrote several books, published dozens of articles, spoke and presented at many international conferences and traveled to many countries in the service of her mission for peace and understanding among the people and cultures of the world.

She is survived by her sister, Nirmala, of India.

Condolences can be posted online at lozanos-flagstaffmortuary.com.