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Faculty and students gather for Professor Henry Teune's memorial in Houston Hall Credit: Christina Prudencio , Christina Prudencio

About 100 friends, family members and colleagues of the late Political Science professor Henry Teune gathered in Houston Hall Wednesday to commemorate his dedication to Penn and political science.

Teune died on April 12 at the age of 75. Later that month, the University announced the plans for a memorial to be held this fall.

Former students, department colleagues and friends joined his wife and daughter in offering personal memories of Teune as a professor, friend, husband and father.

Teune came to Penn in 1961, and in his 50-year tenure, he was “the ultimate Penn citizen,” Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Rebecca Bushnell said.

He served as the Political Science Department chairman from 1975 to 1979, vice dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences from 1967 to 1969 and served prominent leadership positions in research and political science organizations on campus.

Though Teune was a man who made “seminal contributions to the field of comparative politics, his most pronounced contribution was to Penn,” Political Science Department Chairman Edward Mansfield said.

Former students and colleagues reminisced upon Teune’s passion for teaching and mentorship.

2011 College graduate Vikram Vish, one of Teune’s honors thesis advisees, will always remember a day in 2009 when Teune brought all his students to the hospital for class. He had refused to cancel class on account of his illness.

“I don’t know any other professors who would go to the same lengths to teach their students,” Vish said.

Teune’s collaborators and research partners also shared stories — some humorous — about Teune’s leadership and scholarship.

In addition to teaching, Teune served as project director of the Democracy and Local Governance project, a research program that surveys local governments in 30 countries. An internationally renowned scholar, he received three Fulbright grants and participated in many research committees around the world.

Up to his death, Teune taught two political science classes, “Human Rights” and “Citizenship and Democratic Development.” While the former was reassigned to adjunct assistant professor Eileen Doherty-Sil this fall, the latter class remained on the registrar following his death.

Last month, nine students showed up to “Citizenship and Democratic Development,” unaware that their professor had passed away.

The Political Science Department later admitted that it failed to cancel the class.

Teune’s wife Kazumi said her husband continued to talk about his teaching plans in the fall, even when he was ill.

“So when students showed up to this class this fall, part of his dream came true,” she said.

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