November 2013 Articles

Bryn Mawr College In Memoriam

Edward H. Handy, Jr. (Hfd ’48), 1925–2013


Edward H. [“Ted”] Handy Jr., Hfd. ’48, who directed the Renaissance Choir for over 40 years, died suddenly this past May at the age of 88. Handy taught Latin at Germantown Academy from 1954 until he retired in 1991, but Renaissance music was his lifelong avocation—from which retirement was never in question. He copied the music out by hand, much of it from unpublished sources; his goal was to bring Renaissance music back into circulation and teach the Bryn Mawr and Haverford communities to love it, which he did for generations of Bi-Co student choir members and for concert audiences every fall and spring. Choir alumnae/i often stayed in touch with him; former members had a standing invitation to sing with the Choir again on May Day, right before Step Sing. Handy’s beloved partner, Jane Serviss, predeceased him. He is very much missed by her children and grandchildren, by his former students, and by faculty, staff, and alumnae/i of both colleges who sang with the Choir. At the time of his death, Handy was planning this year’s concerts with his usual gusto and enthusiasm.

On November 1, the Choir marked its 50th anniversary of continuous existence with a special concert for Family Weekend. On November 24, a concert featuring some of Handy’s particular favorites was held in his memory in Thomas Great Hall. A fund has been established in his honor for the support of Renaissance music at the College, thanks in part to a generous bequest from Handy himself. Contributions to the Ted Handy Fund for the Support of Renaissance Music can be made through Dianne Johnson, Director of Gift Planning, in the Development Office.

Gridley McKim-Smith, 1943–2013


Gridley McKim-Smith, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation professor in the humanities at Bryn Mawr College, passed away on October 19, 2013, after a brief acute illness. She was among the foremost Hispanists of the United States, with pioneering contributions to the scholarship of the art of Baroque Spain, as well as of the Spanish-speaking world. In 2010, McKim-Smith published the catalog for an exhibition on Spanish painting and sculpture from 1600–1700 at the National Gallery in London. Her book, Examining Velazquez, published in 1988, was the first winner of the College Art Association/Heritage Preservation Award for Distinction in Scholarship and Conservation.

McKim-Smith received her B.A. from Tulane University in Romance languages and literatures and her M.A. and Ph.D. in fine arts from Harvard University. She came to Bryn Mawr College in 1982 and was honored with an endowed chair as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Professor in the Humanities in 1999. She was the supervisor of numerous M.A. and Ph.D. theses and taught a wide variety of courses that were valuable not only to the history of art department and the Graduate Group in the Humanities, but also to the College’s interdisciplinary programs in Latin America, Latino and Iberian people and cultures (LALIPC) and gender and sexuality studies.

In her email to the College community about McKim-Smith’s death, Interim President Kim Cassidy wrote, “It is hard to capture in words the significance of the loss of Professor McKim-Smith. She exemplified the scholar-teacher model, cared deeply about her students, and worked tirelessly to promote the excellence of the College.” A memorial service for Gridley McKim-Smith will be held at Bryn Mawr College on April 5. Details will be sent out in the spring.

Read a blog post Ivy Gray Klein ’14 remembering Gridley McKim-Smith at