Dec 21, 2020
Dmitriy Ivanov

Scholarship In Memory of the Late Prof. Ranasinghe to Benefit First-Generation Students

Last spring, Assumption Philosophy Professor Nalin Ranasinghe, Ph.D., unexpectedly passed away as he was returning home from India to Boston. During his 19 years at Assumption, he had a significant impact on his fellow faculty and his students, encouraging them, connecting with them, and leaving a lasting impression upon them both in and outside of the classroom. To ensure his legacy will continue to inspire and impact the University community, Prof. Ranasinghe’s wife, Gudrun, has established the Prof. Nalin Ranasinghe Scholarship, which will provide financial support to a student majoring in philosophy, with a preference for first-generation students. 

“Nalin left an impressive body of scholarship – focusing on topics at the intersection of philosophy, politics, theology, and literature – and he will always be remembered for the Socratic passion with which he cared for the souls of his students, urging them to live up to their humanity,” said Christian Gobel, Ph.D., philosophy professor and d’Alzon Chair at Assumption. “He was able to connect with many of his students on a deeply personal level and forever changed their lives.” 

At a young age, Prof. Ranasinghe came to appreciate the works of Plato, Shakespeare, and the British classics of the 18th and 19th centuries, inspiring him to pursue an academic career that sought to integrate politics, philosophy, and literature. His intellectual passions were the Great Books, the integrity of classical liberal arts education, the intersection of philosophy and literature, and the defense of the soul against theoretical and practical materialism and the advances of a technocratic spirit shorn of moral considerations. 

The highlight of his scholarly work was an impressive trilogy on Plato’s Socrates and Platonic thought more broadly, The Soul of Socrates (2000), Socrates in the Underworld: On Plato’s Gorgias (2009), and Socrates and the Gods: How to Read Plato’s Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito (2012). He also edited an impressive and valuable Festschrift for his doctoral dissertation mentor: Logos & Eros: Essays Honoring Stanley Rosen (2006). At the time of his passing, Prof. Ranasinghe was completing books on Homer and Shakespeare, who, along with Plato, were his great sources of inspiration. His book on Homer will be published posthumously by St. Augustine’s Press in the spring.

The profits earned from the sales of Prof. Ranasinghe’s immense book collection became the foundation for this scholarship fund. The fund will rely on donations in pursuit of full endowment of the Prof. Nalin Ranasinghe Scholarship. To donate, please click here.

Prof. Ranasinghe’s colleagues plan to a proper memorial service in fall of 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions prevented those who admired him to properly remember him with a final farewell.