In Memoriam, Africana Studies faculty remember Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Satoshi Ito
This morning, past and present colleagues of Africana Studies were saddened to learn that Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Satoshi Ito had transitioned. According to Professor Emeritus of English, Jacquelyn McLendon, Professor Emeritus Ito “was a founding member of Black Studies and worked diligently to help establish and promote the program. He worked on committees, attended the meetings, advised students, and participated in every possible way even after his retirement.” Professor of English and Africana Studies, Hermine Pinson remembers him as a “stalwart colleague who unfailingly rallied our group from the beginning of our journey.” Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Lemon Project, Jody Allen remembers him as a “wonderful supporter of the Lemon Project.” Similarly Chief Diversity Officer Fańchon (Chon) Glover also remembers him as "a supportive colleague.” Professor of English and Film & Media Studies, Rich Lowry remembers him as a beacon of integrity … and an able and generous colleague.” Professor of Economics and Founding Director of Africana Studies, Berhanu Abegaz remembers him as "a model citizen, especially in his quiet, but engaged ways."
Satoshi Ito labored in the vineyard of William & Mary for 37 years. His career began here as an Instructor in Sociology and Anthropology, a role he served in from 1965-1966. He then served William & Mary as an Assistant Professor of Sociology from 1966-1971, and as an Associate Professor of Sociology from 1971-2002. The Board of Visitors conferred him Emeritus Professor in 2002. An advocate for social justice, after his retirement from William & Mary, Professor Ito became involved with many organizations, including the Anti-Racism Commission, Diocese of Southern Virginia, the New Kent County Democratic Committee, and the Human Rights Committee of Eastern State Hospital.
The past and present faculty of Africana Studies sends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Professor Ito. He will be profoundly missed. May his legacy at William & Mary continue to live on as we remember him and the good work he accomplished for the discipline, across our campus, and in the community. In the words of Instructor of Africana Studies, Mei Mei Sanford, we are collectively "grateful for all that he did."