St. Davids, PA, September 10, 2013: Eastern University is saddened to report the passing of Mark Hallen, mentor, friend, and Director of Theatre at Eastern University.
Mark passed away August 22 in hospice care. Betsy Morgan, Emeritus Professor of English, said, "He was being held by loved ones while listening to a playlist he had put together for the occasion [always the director!]" I think it worth noting that Mark's caregiving team-- Brooke Sexton, Dan Ison, Pastor Amy McGloughlin, and Betsy Morgan-- are all Eastern alumni/ae, which just goes to show the kind of fiercely loving community that EU engenders in many of us who pass through."
Several other members of the Eastern community were thanked for providing support to Mark including Chaplain Joe Modica, Professors Wendy Mercier and Sandy Bauer, while so many others called, visited and prayed.
Dr. Ron Matthews, Executive Director of The Fine and Performing Arts Division, said, "Mark has influenced generations of students and faculty at Eastern, and the loss is sudden and significant. Mark provided wildly, wonderfully accommodating space for all and in so doing liberated people in their gifts, their idiosyncracies, and their relationships. Mark lived simply, modestly and extravagantly at the same time. His presence and knowledge were larger than life. He fought strongly for his ideas and ideals and in so doing modeled a commitment to position that forced everyone around him to examine one's own values and choices. It was this tenacity that brought a vitality to his community and to our division. We will miss him deeply."
Dr. Matthews concluded, "May the Great Creator welcome Mark into the eternal community with drama and grace. Mark obviously needed a larger stage."
Mark was loved by many, cared deeply for students, and will be missed by the Eastern University community. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences voted Mark Hallen the 2013 Faculty Member of the Year and in 2000, Mark Hallen received the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Mark Hallen joined the faculty at Eastern in 1998 and was an Associate Professor of Theatre as well as Theatre Director. He earned his BA in literature at Wheaton College, an MFA in directing at the University of Iowa, and an MFA in acting at Southern Methodist University.
A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Saturday, September 28 at Germantown Mennonite Church (21 W. Washington Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19144).Â Seating will be limited, so you might want to plan to arrive early.
There will be a reception after the service to which you are invited to bring a plate of finger food (sweet or savory) as you are able.Â Someone will be at the door to receive your food gift as you enter.
It was Mark's wish that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Yes! And... Collaborative Arts. You can do so at their Web site www.yesandcamp.org or by sending checks to Germantown Mennonite Church.
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