Southerington Named Virginia Worth Gonder Fellow

September 20, 2001

Dr. Frank R. Southerington, Director of the Master of Letters (M.Litt.)/Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance, and Professor of English at Mary Baldwin University, was recently named the Virginia Worth Gonder ’39 Shakespeare Fellow in Theatre for 2001-2002.

Dean Jeffrey L. Buller states, “Dr. Southerington both fits the criteria established for this recognition and brings with him a solid record of academic, professional, and creative achievement.”

The Virginia Worth Gonder ’39 Shakespeare Fellow in Theatre is funded through a $200,000 gift in honor of alumna Virginia Worth Gonder, class of 1939, given by her husband, Richard J. Gonder, and their two daughters, Virginia (Mary Baldwin ’66) and Anne. The Gonder Endowment is the first gift Mary Baldwin University has received toward its $4 million goal for endowing the M.Litt. program.

The Virginia Worth Gonder Fellow in Theatre must meet the following criteria:

  • The Fellow must teach courses that strongly support the theatre program at Mary Baldwin University.
  • The Fellow must have duties related both to the undergraduate theatre program and to the M.Litt. program.
  • The Fellow must have a record of distinction sufficiently meritorious to be honored as the first named fellow in the M.Litt. program.

Nominations for the Gonder Fellow were made by current M.Litt. faculty. Dean Buller made a final recommendation to President Cynthia H. Tyson, who chose the first Gonder Fellow.

Dr. Southerington earned his B.A. from University College, London, and his B.Litt. and D. Phil. from Magdalen College, Oxford. Well-known in the Staunton area for his involvement in the Oak Grove Theatre, Southerington recently directed Henry IV and will be directing Ruddigore, by Gilbert & Sullivan, at Mary Baldwin in February. He is also an expert on Thomas Hardy, having written numerous volumes about his work, and has translated many of August Strindberg’s works.