|In Memoriam: Shona Kelly Wray, 1963-2012, beloved colleague and friend
It is with great sadness that we write to share the news that yesterday, May 6, Shona Kelly Wray,
our medievalist colleague in the Department of History at UMKC and longtime WGS faculty member, passed away.
Having been awarded a prestigious grant, Shona has been on leave this year at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard
Research Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy. Her project for this grant focused on the family
of Bolognese university faculty in the fourteenth century. She had just returned from a conference in Brussels
and experienced an aneurysm and cardiac arrest. Emergency personnel were able to restart her heart and she was
placed on life support. Her family was with her at the end. Roisin Cossar, a long-time colleague and
collaborator of Shona sent this email message:
"I was at the hospital last night with Shona's family, her son Shane, daughter Alina, her husband Randy, and her
sister Maggi. Several of Shona and Randy's closest Italian friends were also there and were extremely supportive
of the family. They all had a chance to be together to say goodbye to Shona, and begin to make some plans for the
next days. The only good news in all of this is that Shona wanted to donate her organs, and this has been done
successfully. Maggi said that it seemed especially fitting that Shona would be giving new life to Italians."
The next meeting of the Mid-America Medieval Association, which will take place on 22-23 February 2013 at UMKC,
will be in Shona's honor, reflecting her work, her teaching, and her collaborations. We hope also to establish some
kind of financial memorial to Shona, perhaps an endowed travel fund for students coming to the MAMA conference. Shona's
family and colleagues are discussing UMKC scholarships in her honor, as well.
Shona was not just an exemplary scholar and colleague. She was also a devoted mentor to UMKC students, with both
undergraduate and graduate protegés whose academic growth benefited significantly from their contact with her. The entire
UMKC and MAMA communities will miss her tremendously.
Please note that all correspondence concerning MAMA should now be directed to either Amy Brost or Linda Mitchell.
Please keep Shona's family in your thoughts and prayers.
Linda Mitchell, 2012-13 MAMA President and Program Chair
Ginny Blanton and Kathy Krause, Past Presidents and Members of MAMA Executive Committee