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In Memoriam | Summer 2015

In Memoriam: Faculty & Friends

Notices sorted by graduation date

John Arras of Charlottesville died March 9, 2015. He was the director of the undergraduate bioethics program and taught biomedical ethics, philosophy and public health sciences at the University. Mr. Arras also served on the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and was a founding member of the ethics advisory board of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Before arriving at U.Va. in 1995 to direct the undergraduate bioethics program, he was an associate professor of bioethics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine–Montefiore Medical Center and an adjunct professor of philosophy at Barnard College. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone in the late 1960s. Mr. Arras focused his research on physician-assisted suicide, rationing of medical care and social disparities in health conditions and care, and was known among his students and colleagues for his bravery in addressing even the most difficult philosophical questions. He was a longtime fellow and former board member of the Hastings Center, consulted regularly at the National Institutes of Health, and served on the March of Dimes National Ethics Committee. He was also a longtime hospice volunteer. Mr. Arras loved teaching and, he told U.Va. Magazine, considered himself “as being in the business of helping students become who they are going to become. I love being around young people, prodding them, arguing with them.… It’s a kind of secular blessedness, to love what you do over a very long stretch of time. That’s as good as it gets.” The author of many articles in bioethics, he also co-edited Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, now in its eighth edition; Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Clinical Research; and Bringing the Hospital Home: Ethical and Social Implications of High-Tech Home Care. Survivors include his wife, two daughters, five grandchildren, a brother and a sister.

Ray W. Frantz Jr. of Harrisonburg, Virginia, died March 11, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Mr. Frantz was the University’s head librarian from 1967 to 1993. Before arriving at U.Va., he worked as head librarian at the University of Richmond, assistant librarian at Ohio State University and head librarian at the University of Wyoming. He was past president of the national Association of Research Libraries, vice president of the Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue and past president of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. An active member of U.Va.’s Bibliographical Society, Mr. Frantz’s greatest pleasure was working with faculty and library staff in building the collections, which grew to over 1 million volumes by his retirement. He enjoyed track, golf and baseball, climbed in the Teton Range, canoed the Snake River and loved to step into a stream and try to outwit a trout. Mr. Frantz was always reading and listening to music. Survivors include a daughter; a son, Paul Frantz (Col ’83); and three grandchildren.

Richard T. “Dick” Selden of Charlottesville died April 2, 2015. He served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. A dedicated teacher who taught economics at the University until he was 92 years old, Mr. Selden was Carter Glass Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University and served as chair of the economics department for many years. Before joining the U.Va. department of economics in 1969, he taught previously at Vanderbilt University, Columbia University and Cornell University, with summer positions at Dartmouth College and Stanford University. He focused his research on monetary policy and authored a chapter of Milton Friedman’s Study in the Quantity Theory of Money, a seminal economics text. Mr. Selden was an active swimmer who swam more than 200 miles annually and frequently competed in the Chris Green Lake 2-mile cable swim, winning his age group and becoming national champion several times; he holds the course record for the 85-89 and 90-94 age groups. He also enjoyed playing tennis and collecting maps while traveling with his family in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Selden, who often wore blue and orange ties, loved the University, especially Virginia Cavaliers basketball, the Grounds, lively discourse with students and coffee at the Colonnade Club with fellow faculty members. Survivors include his wife; a brother; a son; a daughter; a stepdaughter; a stepson, John T. Casteen IV (Col ’93); daughter-in-law Laurie Casteen (Educ ’02, ’06; and six grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the Richard T. Selden Award for Excellence in Teaching Economics, c/o the U.Va. Fund, P.O. Box 400314, Charlottesville, VA 22904.

William D. Steers of Charlottesville died April 10, 2015. He was the Paul Mellon professor and chair of the department of urology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Steers joined the faculty in 1988 and chaired the urology department for 20 years. He also served as editor of the Journal of Urology and was a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s reproductive medicine advisory panel and past president of the American Board of Urology. He published a number of articles, his most-cited being a 1998 paper on the clinical efficacy of Viagra published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Steers received a number of awards for his research, including the American Urological Association’s Hugh Hampton Young Award, the Gold Cystoscope Award and the Jean-Francois Ginestié Prize Ginestie Award in impotence research. Dr. Steers was also active in the Charlottesville community. He helped found the Charlottesville Men’s Four Miler event, laying the foundation for the Virginia Institute for Men’s Health Improvement and Performance program at the School of Medicine. A viticulturist and oenophile who loved to share a good bottle of wine, he was co-owner of Well Hung Vineyard in Gordonsville, Virginia. On any given Saturday, Dr. Steers could be found out for a jog, driving his tractor, listening to music while editing journal articles, making a cheese plate or preparing a five-course meal to share with friends and family at his “party porch” in the woods. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was always the life of the party. Survivors include his wife, two sons and a grandson.