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Notice regarding Victor A. Liguori

Provost Peggy Agouris sent the following message to the campus community Feb. 22, 2021. - Ed.

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share the news that Victor A. Liguori, Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, died on December 7, 2020, surrounded by his family.

Victor Armand Liguori was born in 1937 and grew up outside of Philadelphia.  He spent his summers in Avalon, New Jersey working on a charter fishing boat. After graduating from Haverford College with an A.B. in Sociology in 1959, he completed his masters and Ph.D. research at Princeton University focusing on stability and change in fisheries.

Professor Liguori joined the faculty of William & Mary in 1964 as an Instructor in Sociology and Anthropology. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1966 and to Associate Professor in 1970. For several decades, he maintained close ties with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where he was also an Associate Scientist.

Professor Liguori taught sociology and anthropology at William & Mary for almost 40 years. His love for teaching and passion for the subjects he taught nurtured and inspired his students, who came to know and to appreciate him as a professor who cared deeply about them and about their success. He pushed them to think about the unexamined contradictions in their everyday world. His commitment to a liberal arts education for all William & Mary students was one of his enduring passions; it was also a legacy he tried to pass on to newly arrived faculty. 

Ethnicity, race, cultural diversity and maritime sociology were Professor Liguori’s abiding passions in the classroom and beyond. His interest in ethnicity came about partially because of his own European immigrant parents and growing up in a multilingual family. His love of the Chesapeake Bay also led to his involvement in a wide variety of academic and non-academic activities with both graduate and undergraduate students, as well as with colleagues across the university.  For 30 years he worked with the watermen and women of Guinea and developed a profound respect and admiration for the community's socio-cultural diversity, language and speech, and work ethic. The Guineamen became his heroes and his friends. Through Professor Liguori’s sociological and anthropological insights, his students came to appreciate the complexities of the Gloucester County Guineamen from their myths of origin, to their distinctive language and speech, to their harvesting of marine resources, to their attributed isolation and legendary stand-offishness toward strangers.

Within his department, Professor Liguori was a creative and engaged colleague. Over the years, he served on many department committees and he was especially insightful in his work on search committees. Across the university, he was known as a faculty member who cared deeply about the environment. He served on the W&M Environment Committee and repeatedly on the Landscape, Environment and Energy Committee. Issues concerning Lake Matoaka were always been high on his list of concerns.

Professor Liguori loved his family and friends beyond measure.  He was predeceased by his father and mother, Joseph and Rachelle Liguori, and his brother Richard Liguori. He is survived by his wife Victoria, his daughter, Lisa, his son Robert, his son-in-law Todd, and his grandson Sam.