Retired Mary Baldwin professor Dr. Kenneth “Ken” W. Keller loved American history — and devoted 30 years of his life to sharing that passion with students at MBU. He passed away at the age of 78 on January 9, 2022, at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville.
“Ken was a consummate colleague, dedicated teacher, and influential scholar,” said university President Pamela Fox. “I hold him in the pantheon of dedicated citizens to Mary Baldwin. He will be sorely missed.”
Keller served as marshal for Fox’s 2004 inauguration ceremony and the two formed a close bond soon thereafter. He’d been teaching history at the university since 1981 and was married to English professor Susan Blair Green. He chaired the history department and was a fierce champion of the Phi Beta Kappa Society at MBU. Keller’s gregarious personality, encyclopedic knowledge of American history, seemingly inexhaustible love of learning, and unflagging commitment to Mary Baldwin’s betterment made him a campus pillar.
“I came to deeply value Ken’s advice, and sought it on all important matters of policy and innovation,” said Fox. Even when responses presented “more questions than solutions, he delivered [them] in a warm voice, and always concluded with his distinctive smile.”