Environmental studies and writing professor Terry Osborne dies at 60

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 9/15/20 8:03pm

Source: Eli Burakian '00

After a year-long battle with illness, environmental studies and Institute for Writing and Rhetoric professor Terry Osborne died on Sept. 7 at the Jack Byrne Center for Palliative and Hospice Care in Lebanon. He was 60.

“He was a wonderful human and a gifted teacher who cared deeply about his students,” wrote College spokesperson Diana Lawrence, who had Osborne as a professor during her time as a graduate student at Dartmouth.

During his academic career, Osborne, who taught at Dartmouth from 1986 until the fall of 2019, was interested in the role of place in humans’ lives. His work connected literature, identity and the natural world.

Osborne’s classes often incorporated experiential learning. In his first-year seminar, ENVS 7, "COVER Stories: Community Building and the Environment,” students studied the nonhuman environment, the human community and storytelling, and applied these ideas to assist COVER Home Repair, a nonprofit home repair service based in White River Junction, Vermont.

At Dartmouth, Osborne also worked on the drafting team that created a sustainability minor in the environmental studies program.

Outside of the classroom, Osborne worked with students as a volunteer at the Dartmouth Organic Farm and co-founded a mindfulness group for members of the Dartmouth community. He also founded and advised the Amarna undergraduate society.

Osborne graduated from Princeton University cum laude and earned a master’s degree with honors in English and American literature from the University of Chicago.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Kay "MK" Beach '76 and his two sons Carry and Jacob, as well as his stepchildren Max Beach and Hillary Beach ’09.

A full obituary will be published in the near future. If you would like to share a memory, please contact editor@thedartmouth.com.