Dean of Honors College passes away

James Ruebel, the dean of the Honors College and a professor of classical studies, died early on Oct. 9.

Ruebel was 71 when he died. At the time of his death, he was on continued leave due to illness.

Dr. Ruebel and his wife, Connie, moved to Muncie in 2000 where he assumed the position of Dean of the Honors College at Ball State University. During his seventeen years at BSU, Dr. Ruebel served as Professor of Classical Studies, Director of the Whitinger Scholars Program and Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA and the Mid American Conference.

He graduated from Finneytown High School in 1963 and then attended Yale University for his undergraduate studies. He completed his Masters and Doctorate degrees from the University of Cincinnati, earning a Ph.D in Classics and Ancient History, and started an associate professorship at the University of Minnesota. In 1978 he joined the Iowa State University faculty and obtained full professorship. He served as professor of Classics, the departmental executive officer, Classical Studies program chair, and Chair Person of the University Athletic Council.

In 1994, he received an American Philological Association Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics. Ruebel also published articles in Roman history and is the author of "Apuleius: The Metamorphoses, Book 1" and "Caesar and the Crisis of the Roman Aristocracy."

Dr. Ruebel was a long-standing member of the National Collegiate Honors Council Board and served as President in 2014. While serving as Dean, Dr. Ruebel oversaw the renovation of the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball residence into the new home of the Ball State Honors College.

John Emert, acting dean of the Honors College, announced Dr. Ruebel's death to members of the Honors College on Oct. 10 through email.

"The staff of the Honors College would like to share our condolences with all of you," Emert said in an email. "We know that many of you had very special relationships with Dr. Ruebel because he had so much passion for working with and getting to know Honors students. Dr. Ruebel's guidance, leadership, and sense of humor will be missed by all of us. Our thoughts are with Connie [his wife], their sons, Jason and Matt, and all of their extended family and friends."

A basket has been placed in the Honors House to collect cards from any one who would like to send a note of encouragement to Dr. Ruebel's wife, Emert said.

A memorial service will take place at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Sursa Performance Hall in Ball State University's Music Instruction building, with a reception following at the Honors College house.