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College honors teacher, dream

WMC scholarship created for professor who died this year

By Maria Blackburn
Sun Staff
Originally published December 24, 2001

During her 22 years of teaching art and art history at Western Maryland College, professor Julie Oeming Badiee led students and faculty members on nearly a dozen European tours, sharing with them her enthusiasm for other cultures, her love for travel and her extensive knowledge of art history.

"She was just in love with the arts," said Heshmat Badiee, her husband of 29 years.

However Julie Badiee never forgot the students who were not with her at the Louvre or the Vatican Museum - the ones who couldn't afford the trip.

"There are so many students who deserve to be here with me when I talk about real art in the museums," Badiee would tell her husband, adding that someday she wanted to start a scholarship that would help art history students at the Westminster liberal arts college to study abroad.

Seven months after the 54-year-old Badiee died of a brain tumor, Western Maryland has established a scholarship in her name. The college began soliciting donations this month for an endowed scholarship that would be open to art history majors who want to study abroad.

"Julie studied abroad her junior year in Germany while she was a student at the University of Michigan," said her colleague and close friend Thomas Deveny, a professor of foreign languages at Western Maryland. "It really opened up so many horizons for her.

She knew that offering this opportunity to a young WMC student would have the same effect."

The Julie Badiee Memorial Scholarship is the first WMC scholarship designated to helping students study abroad, according to college officials. The school has collected $2,000 for the fund, including a bequest Badiee made to the school in her will.

The minimum amount the college needs to establish an endowment is $25,000, according to Steve Krahling-Haddad, Western Maryland's associate vice president for development.

From 1978 until she retired last year because of her illness, Badiee taught introductory and graduate-level courses in art and art history at Western Maryland College. The courses addressed Western and non-Western traditions.

She was a member of the Baha'i faith, which emphasizes brotherhood and social equality, and was the author of An Earthly Paradise: Baha'i Houses of Worship Around the World. Her second book will be published posthumously.

Deveny has contacted several hundred friends, faculty, staff and alumni of the college's art and art history departments about the fund-raising effort. He is also contacting Badiee's friends in the Baha'i community about the scholarship.

"I hope we can make her dream become a reality," Deveny said. "To have this legacy for her would be very fitting."

Contributions to the Julie Badiee Memorial Scholarship at Western Maryland College should be sent to Beverly Staub, Office of Institutional Advancement, Western Maryland College, Westminster 21157. Information: 410-857- 2250.

©Copyright 2001, The Baltimore Sun

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