As part of our 150th anniversary celebration, I will be including a brief story in each edition of Scholastic this year about one of our formers editors. Since coming into this role, I have had the privilege of hearing many of these biographies, and with each I gain a better understanding of this publication’s — and university’s — history.
I will begin this new tradition with the story of Joe Pequigney, who was editor in the Class of 1944. I had the privilege of meeting Joe this past summer, and while his stories of wartime Notre Dame sometimes seemed like a profile of a completely different place, the Notre Dame education and Scholastic name bound us together just the same.
After graduating, Joe began on a path that would lead him to the forefront of his field in academia. He gained a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota and his doctorate from Harvard. He joined the faculty of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook, where he taught English literature for many years, focusing mainly on Renaissance English literature and writing renowned books on Dante, Shakespeare and homoerotic readings of them both.
Joe was on the forefront of society in yet another way, as well, particularly at Notre Dame: as a gay man. Just last year, Joe was the recipient of the Distinguished Academic Achievement Award by GALA-ND/SMC, the Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College. Though he was unable to attend, Stephen Rodgers, class of ‘68, his friend and fellow Domer, accepted the award for him. It is through Steve that this meeting came about, and through whom I met likely the oldest living Scholastic editor.