It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Prof. Elena Delgado passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday, March 19, 2024, surrounded by her family after battling brain cancer.

Elena enjoyed a long and distinguished 34-year career at the University of Illinois, joining the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in 1989, where she was a faculty member until her retirement in December 2023. In addition to working her way through the faculty ranks in Spanish and Portuguese, she also served as Director of Graduate Studies, Associate Head, Resident Director of our Year Abroad Program in Barcelona, and Director of Education Abroad. She also directed the dissertations of 16 Ph.D. students in our department and served on dozens of other committees as a member, one of the great joys of her professional career.

She also had affiliate appointments with many other units on campus, including the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, Gender and Women’s Studies, the Center for Global Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the European Union Center, and the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program. Most recently, she also served as Director of the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics.

Once we have all had a chance to process the news, we will discuss as a department how best to honor her memory in collaboration with other units on campus with which she was affiliated. She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched.