It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Margaret Garb, PEP co-founder and co-director, after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. Surrounded by her family, she passed peacefully on December 15, 2018.
Professor Garb, known to friends and colleagues as Maggie, joined Washington University 2001 as a faculty member in the Department of History. She, along with a core group of WashU faculty and administrators, proposed and secured the funding for the Prison Education Project. In addition to the monumental tasks of serving as PEP Co-Director, teaching in the program and advising its students, Dr. Garb founded the WashU Reading Group for incarcerated people not formally involved in PEP, but interested in exploring literature and ideas with WashU faculty.
The PEP community, including students, staff, and faculty deeply mourns the loss of Dr. Garb. All who know her feel lucky to have had the privilege.
Maggie’s incredible passion, in everything she did, was always accompanied by incisive analysis, thorough research, and careful strategic action. This is a rare and precious combination. For this and many other reasons, she is a formative role model in my life.
– Jennifer Hudson, Program Manager and Academic Advisor, Prison Education Project
Remembering Maggie: A Note from Co-Director Robert Henke
HER WORK WITH PEP IN HER OWN WORDS
“Our vision was to provide a high quality liberal arts education to people incarcerated in a Missouri prison. That is our mission and goal. It started in part with influence from the program at Bard College which has been highly successful in offering college education to incarcerated people.
“The other side of it is I have these skills. I know how to teach college courses and I felt like I could use my skills in places outside of the typical college classroom. I’ve done other kinds of social justice work but it always seemed to me that I could and should use the skills that I have in places where that kind of work is needed. It seemed like a good fit: to work with Bard, thinking about the importance of liberal arts education both on college campuses and prison campuses, as well as how I and other WashU faculty could use the skills, training and education we have to contribute more broadly to educating the American public.”
– Maggie Garb, October 2018