Remembering Richard Ely

January 13, 2011

Dr. Richard Ely, a full-time faculty member in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences, died on Saturday, January 7th following a brief illness. Ely resided in Lexington and taught at Boston University for more than 20 years, where he was recognized as an exceptional advisor and teacher.

Dr. Ely taught over 600 students each year in courses such as General Psychology and Personality Theory and was known for his inspiring lectures. He also was known for his individual supervision of student research and for guiding generations of Boston University students with his keen intellect and warmth. For years, Dr. Ely presided over the Department of Psychology’s commencement ceremony.

Internationally known for his work on language acquisition, Ely pursued a wide range of interests. From 1984 to 1986, he was the head nurse of the Pediatric Emergency Unit at Boston City Hospital; before that, he ran a small construction contracting business. Over the last decade, more than twenty of his poems were published in a dozen poetry journals. His work in each of these fields was characterized by excellence and integrity.

Ely is survived by his wife, Lynette Tsiang, and his son, Gregory Tsiang Ely, both of Lexington. He is also survived by his six siblings. Donations may be made to Oxfam America or Carlton College in lieu of flowers. A service in his memory will be held on Thursday, February 17 at 1:00 p.m. in Marsh Chapel. Read the BU Today article:

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