um remembers robert healy

Remembering Robert M. Healy

By Deserae E. del Campo

Remembering Robert M. Healy

By Deserae E. del Campo


The University of Miami College of Arts & Sciences and the English Department is mourning the loss of Robert Michael Healy, 65, who passed away on July 21, 2018.

As a Senior Lecturer with more than twenty years of teaching experience at the University, Dr. Healy was a highly accomplished and universally admired instructor who taught dozens of undergraduate courses in literary studies and writing, analyzing a wide range of literary topics and texts such as Shakespeare, Virgil, and Dante. 

Professor and Department Chair Tim Watson says Healy’s student evaluations contain many testimonies to Healy's skills and dedication as a teacher. One student described Healy as “the best English teacher at UM I have had,” while another wrote that he would recommend Dr. Healy as an instructor to other students “as strongly as humanly possible.”

“Those words are a fitting tribute to an unfailingly kind and generous man,” adds Watson. “Robert touched and changed thousands of students and colleagues in his long membership in our community. He has long been one of our most admired, successful, and stalwart instructors here at the College. He will be greatly missed.”

“Robert will always be remembered as a caring and thorough instructor who engaged his students in thinking about humanity and other major issues and themes evident in the masterpieces of world literature,” said Dean Maria Stampino. “This is not only revealed in the student evaluations but in his enthusiasm for teaching and the respect he received from fellow faculty members in the department.”

English Department colleagues are also mourning the loss of a respected longtime colleague.

Senior Lecturer Mia Leonin, whose office was across the hallway from Dr. Healy’s for many years, described him as “kind, considerate, and brilliantly witty. Robert met with students regularly and reviewed their papers in painstaking detail and always with encouragement. He emanated, and therefore, inspired respect,” she adds.

Associate Professor Thomas Goodmann remembered Dr. Healy as “one of the very finest instructors I have ever seen at work. He had both practical strategies for engaging his students in every meeting, as well as a gift for shaping remarkable rapport. His welcoming nature, deep knowledge of and passion for literature, and his resonant voice—truly an instrument—made for unique and memorable learning experiences. A student who took one course with Robert would often return for a second and a third. We need to remember him well as representing the very best of what we all hope to do as teachers. He was a wonderful colleague, and I will miss him very much.”

Dr. Healy grew up in Miami Beach and attended the University of Miami as an undergraduate, receiving his B.A. as an English major in 1975. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from the English Department in 1997, writing a dissertation on homoeroticism in the works of Edmund Spenser and William Shakespeare. Dr. Healy was also a member of the Queer Studies Research Group.

Dr. Healy passed away over the weekend at South Dade Nursing Center. A memorial service for Dr. Healy was held on July 27, 2018 at Stanfill Funeral Homes, 10545 South Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156.