Dr. Felicia Beardsley left an impact at the University

Donna Rounds, sister of Dr. Felicia Beardsley, speaks at Beardsley's celebration of life Monday in Morgan Auditorium. Dr. Beardsley, professor of anthropology and director of the Cultural and Natural History Collections, died Feb. 28. / photo by Nareg Agopian
Donna Rounds, sister of Dr. Felicia Beardsley, speaks at Beardsley’s celebration of life Monday in Morgan Auditorium. Dr. Beardsley, professor of anthropology and director of the Cultural and Natural History Collections, died Feb. 28. / photo by Nareg Agopian

Madison Hudson
Staff Writer

Friends, family, and faculty members gathered together to celebrate the life of Dr. Felicia Beardsley on Monday for a sage ceremony and a service in Morgan Auditorium.

Dr. Beardsley joined the University in 2001 and taught a wide variety of courses in anthropology and archaeology that focused on subjects such as cultural preservation, heritage resources, forensic archaeology, and much more. 

University Chaplain Zandra Wagoner opened the service with a welcome to those who attended and shared a few words. 

“We come here because we are here to express grief and memories,” Wagoner said. “It is important that all who came here are here to cherish and celebrate Dr. Beardsley’s life, heart, and the impact she left at the University.”

Professor of philosophy and religion Dan Campana started off the memorial with a Native American Sacred Sage ceremony.

“Sage is a purifying agent for the physical body; it cleanses toxins and creates a ‘buffer’ for future maladies,” Campana said.

The ceremony was intended to cleanse the spirits, take out any negative energy from the mind and body that puts people in a position of certainty and wakefulness.

ULV President Devorah Lieberman continued the service with some kind words about Dr. Beardsley and the impact she left at La Verne. 

“Everyone here could tell a special and significant moment with Felicia,” Lieberman said. “She was one of our finest and most accomplished professors at La Verne who always went above and beyond for her students.”

Throughout the service, Professor of Theater Arts Sean Dillion and Professor of Art Keith Lord read three of Dr. Beardsley’s favorite poems, “Why I Wake Early,” “Poem of the One World,” and “For Felicia.” 

As a professor, Dr. Beardsley was known for her idiosyncratic and thrilling lectures, unique class style, and her commitment to providing anything and everything for her students to achieve their academic objectives. 

Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Shannon Mathews spoke about their first encounters together when she first entered the premises of La Verne’s campus and their undeniable bond. 

“Dr. Beardsley was one of the first on campus to welcome me, and we bonded over the connections of culture, spirit, and the influence of the environment,” Matthew said. “I came here to share with those who attended the heart she had and shared with fellow students and faculty members.”

As the ceremony began to come to an end, Dr. Beardsley’s sister Donna Rounds spoke about her sister and the beautiful things she accomplished in her life. A slideshow was shown of family photos and events featuring Dr. Beardsley.  

Public relations manager Alexandra Clayton wrote out a beautiful service pamphlet that talked about her academic journey. 

“Felicia’s kindness and generosity will be greatly missed,” Clayton said. “She has left a proud impact on colleagues, students, and the greater community. She was as strong as a beast and as creative as a butterfly.”

Madison Hudson can be reached at madison.hudson@laverne.edu.

Sharon Davis, professor of sociology, speaks at a memorial for Dr. Felicia Beardsley on Monday in Morgan Auditorium. Dr. Beardsley, professor of anthropology and director of the Cultural and Natural History Collections, died Feb. 28. / photo by Nareg Agopian

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