Daniel J. Cahill

IN MEMORIAM: DANIEL J. CAHILL

The following biographical note is submitted by the family of Dr. Daniel J. Cahill and is printed here at their request:

The University of Northern Iowa will miss one of its prominent educators and scholars. Dr. Daniel J. Cahill, 63, professor of English, died of a heart ailment at Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo on Sunday, December 13, 1992, around 8:30 pm.

Dr. Cahill was known for his humor, openness, and deep caring for his students. During his illness, Dr. Cahill often expressed concern for his students and the quality of their education. He was eager to return to his classes.

Dan was a dedicated teacher who found inspiration in his students' positive response to their work. He looked forward to preparing his lectures and ensuring that each of his classes represented a fresh and unique experience of literature for his students.

Typically, Dr. Cahill taught British literature and modern drama. As an avid reader, he devoted much time and care to helping UNI develop a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary library. He particularly sought to bring a blend of art and literature to his classes, and he endeavored to cultivate a library which would support this goal.

One of his greatest joys was to have a student who took several of his courses over their college career. He was always thrilled to see familiar faces when he gave his opening lectures.

Cahill joined the UNI faculty in 1968. After a brief stint in the US Army, he taught at Antioch High School and at St. Phillips' High, both in Illinois. Later he taught at St. Ambrose College in Davenport and then at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

He received his bachelor's and master's degrees at Loyola University in Chicago. He earned his doctorate at the University of Iowa.

While chairing the Department of English at UNI, he was instrumental in developing the H.W. Reninger Lecture Series and in bringing such major writers as John Gardner and Jerzy Koszinski to the university.

Dr. Cahill always maintained a strong interest in poetry and a particular interest in the works of Gerard Manley Hopkins and T. S. Eliot. He gave readings of works by these authors at UNI over the years.

He returned to his original interest, teaching, in 1975. He worked on a number of research projects through the years; among these was a book on Harriet Monroe.

In 1986/1987, Dan went to the University of Tennessee on a faculty exchange for one year. This was a period of great inspiration for him. During 1990/1991, after much negotiation, Dr. Cahill participated in another faculty exchange, with the Universitat Regensburg in Germany. Dan lectured at the university, he was a guest speaker at several conferences in Europe, and he had the opportunity to travel extensively through Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Italy. Due to his international interests, he was making further plans for travels and lectures abroad.

Asked his hope for the students to whom he lectured, he said: "I want them to leave here with a broad knowledge of our culture's past, both literary and historical, and an ability to use literature as a source of enrichment in their lives."

He is survived by his daughter Kara of California and by his five brothers and two sisters.

A memorial service is scheduled for 7:00 pm at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, at Melrose and Seerley, Cedar Falls. Members of the community and UNI faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.

A memorial fund has been established at the National Bank of Waterloo, with proceeds to be used to mount a traveling exhibit of photographs of Dan's recent experience in Europe.

The family requests no flowers.


Rod Library Special Collections and University Archives
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613-3675
Telephone: (319)-273-6307
Fax: (319)-273-2913
Email: Gerald.Peterson@uni.edu