Dr. Gertrude D. “Trudy” Conway, Professor Emerita, passed away Friday, July 30, 2021, at home surrounded by her loved ones after an extended illness. She was 70.
Trudy began her distinguished career teaching philosophy at Mount Saint Mary’s University in 1979, when she returned to the United States with her husband, Abdolreza (“Huschang”) Banan, from Iran where she and Dr. Banan taught at Shiraz University. In addition to the decades she spent in the classroom, mentoring students and faculty alike, she found time to write several books, multiple scholarly articles, serve as Associate Dean of the College, begin the University Honors Program, and initiate a study abroad program that would become the model for the Mount’s foreign studies program today. Besides chairing the philosophy department (1999-2005), she was the inaugural holder of the Delaplaine Professorship as well as that of another endowed chair, the Msgr. Klein Chair of Philosophy, a chair she held for many years. Dr. Conway also was instrumental in establishing a chapter of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society at the Mount, and served as its advisor until her retirement in 2015. Her work with students at the Mount to end the death penalty in Maryland was legendary and most effective.
She published two of her own books, Wittgenstein on Foundations (1989) and Cross-Cultural Dialogue on the Virtues: The Contribution of Fethullah Gülen (2014), and co-edited two more, Where Justice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty (2013) and Redemption and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Restorative Justice (2017).
Trudy loved teaching, learning and giving. She approached each day with a kind of joie de vivre that always drew others to her. Ever the curious deep thinker with a penetrating intelligence, she graduated from The Mary Louis Academy in Queens with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood (1968), and continued on to The College of New Rochelle for her bachelor’s degree (1972). She earned her doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University. She savored the challenge and reward of academic life, immersing herself in numerous research areas including cross-cultural dialogue and restorative justice. Her body of scholarly work is a testament to her intellect and work ethic. It is also an enduring contribution to the academic community.
Trudy’s love for experiencing other cultures was evident in her travels, teaching, home and community life. She was married for forty-four years to her husband. Together, they raised their children, Sedira and Daniel, in a bi-cultural, bi-religious home, in which they embraced the virtues of hospitality, tolerance and generosity.
She is survived by family and friends who cherish her invaluable contributions to others and her enduring legacy of kindness, seeing this as a life well lived. A memorial Mass to celebrate Trudy’s life will be held on August 28 at 10:00 a.m. at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Mount St. Mary’s University. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Trudy’s name to the Equal Justice Initiative, 122 Commerce Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 4600 Fairfax Dr #900, Arlington, VA 22203. Arrangements have been entrusted to Myers-Durboraw Funeral Home in Emmitsburg, MD.