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Loyola celebrates the life of P. Andrew McCormick, Ph.D., emeritus faculty member

P. Andrew McCormick, Ph.D., associate professor emeritus of modern languages and literatures
Photo credit: Loyola University Maryland Archives

P. Andrew McCormick, Ph.D., associate professor emeritus of modern languages and literatures, died June 24, 2022. He was 92.

A 1951 graduate of Loyola, McCormick taught at Mount Saint Agnes College prior to its merger with Loyola in 1971 when he joined the Loyola faculty and taught Russian and Russian history until his retirement in 1997.

“Andy was a great colleague, a dedicated family man, and an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher. He loved life and he loved his job. He was a linguist and an historian of Russia and the Soviet Union,” said Randall Donaldson, Ph.D., associate professor emeritus of German. “Andy engaged his students, in the classroom and in the office, and literally made history come alive. His enthusiasm was infectious.”

McCormick was extremely popular among his students and was named Loyola’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 1982. The Greyhound interviewed for a story after he received the award that spring.

“You aren’t just teaching a subject, you are communicating with people,” McCormick told The Greyhound. In the article, he called the award, “one of the great joys of my life. It reaffirms what I like to believe I was doing, namely, influencing lives to the good.”

McCormick taught Russian and courses on pre-Soviet Russian history, even taking students on tours of the Soviet Union. Teaching was a passion.

“I remember Andy as someone who loved to teach. In fact, he loved to teach so much, he taught an overload every semester because he loved being in the classroom,” said Thomas Ward, Ph.D., professor of Spanish. “I also remember Andy as never missing a department meeting. He was generally the first person in the room.”

McCormick, who grew up in Timonium, Maryland, graduated from Baltimore City College before attending Loyola, where he excelled on the men’s swimming and diving and tennis teams. He then earned a master’s degree in Russian Studies from Middlebury College. and a Ph.D. in Russian Studies from Georgetown University.

“His office was down the hall from mine in Maryland Hall, and I remember the many hours he spent with his students,” said Leslie Zarker Morgan, professor emerita of Italian and French. “He was always kind to new faculty, like myself, and happy to discuss teaching and learning, current events, and the history of the College.”

McCormick's former colleagues, Steve Hughes, Ph.D., professor emeritus of history, and Katherine Stern Brennan, Ph.D., associate professor emerita of history, recall talking with him about the challenges of teaching Russian and Soviet history during the Cold War.

"We shared an interest with Andy in teaching history and literature as mutually reinforcing disciplines to engage students in the culture of the country they were studying.  Although Andy taught most of his courses in the Modern Languages department, he and his wife Jean participated in many of the History Department's gatherings. He was a gentle soul whose humor and good sense were critical to the building of the department in the years of rapid expansion in the 1980s," Hughes and Brennan shared in a statement they wrote together. "The late Jack Breihan, professor emeritus of history, led that expansion, and Andy McCormick provided perspective and gravitas for such a rapid, and important, hiring of new faculty. He often posed questions to us all that were important if not obvious.  Andy had experienced many years at Loyola and offered insight into the workings of the College while recognizing that he was increasingly part of the 'old guard'—a role he took on with grace."

McCormick’s wife, Regina “Jean” McCormick, earned a degree from Loyola in 1982. Together, they have five children—Mary Louque,’86, Michael McCormick, Peter McCormick, Lourie McCormick, and Anne Miller.

“Jean and Andy were a team,” Donaldson said. “Jean is as sweet and caring as Andy was engaging.”

Donaldson recalled sharing an office in the basement of Jenkins Hall with McCormick for about 10 years. At that time, they were each teaching 8 a.m. classes at least four days a week.

“Each morning, he would come into the office about 7:15, throw open the window despite the weather, and take several deep breaths, explaining what a wonderful day it was. I have never been a morning person, but somehow those actions endeared Andy to me,” Donaldson said. “In everything he did, he embraced life with gusto.”

An obituary from the Baltimore Sun is published here.

McCormick was remembered in the intentions of a Mass in Loyola's Alumni Memorial Chapel on Sunday, July 17, 2022.