Retired professor passes
As prospective student teachers in Liberty’s School of Education enter the new semester, they will have to face upcoming challenges without the mentorship of Mary Fink. Fink, a retired professor and supervisor for student teachers, died Nov. 12 at the age of 84.
Fink began working in the school in 1980, according to Dr. Karen Parker, dean of the School of Education. Fink informally retired in 2012 but continued to work with student teachers.
“Her first love was supervising student teachers, and she was very accomplished with that,” Parker said. “… She loved seeing the future teachers at work and mentoring them. She had a very personal relationship with them (and) encouraged them.”
According to Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim Provost Dr. Ron Hawkins, Fink pushed students to realize their full potential.
“Mary … challenged a generation of (kindergarten through 12th grade) teachers to be the best they could be for the glory of God and the good of their students,” Hawkins said. “She never tolerated mediocrity.”
Parker said she also remembers Fink for her concern for the community. In addition to her service at Liberty, Fink was a retired secretary for the Amherst County Electoral Board.
According to both Parker and Hawkins, Fink’s positive outlook and infectious joy left a lasting impression on all those around her.
“The word for me that most clearly captures her is the word vivacious,” Hawkins said. “She was, without a doubt, one of the most energetic persons I have ever known. She seemed possessed of a bountiful energy in … meeting the challenges attendant to her roles as wife, mother and educator.”
Fink’s late husband, Paul Fink, also worked at Liberty as a professor in the School of Religion. Fink is survived by six children and 20 grandchildren.