History of Consciousness Professor Gary Lease dies

To: Campus Community

From: Chancellor Blumenthal

I am saddened to inform you of the death of Gary Lease, professor and former chair of the History of Consciousness Department and former dean of the Humanities Division. Professor Lease died on Friday in Santa Cruz after a lengthy illness; he was 67.

Professor Lease was an internationally recognized expert across a remarkable range of fields--including early Christian archaeology, Vatican foreign policy and canon law, German intellectual history, German Judaism, and religious and cultural evolution. He joined the UCSC faculty in 1973 and served as chair of the History of Consciousness Department from 1998 to 2004. Professor Lease was also dean of the Humanities Division from 1990 to 1995 and interim humanities dean from 2004 to 2006. Since last summer, he had filled the position of chair of UCSC's Language Program.

During his distinguished tenure at UCSC, Professor Lease also served as chair of the Religious Studies Department, chair of the Environmental Studies Department, Faculty Associate Chancellor, Director of the Education Abroad Program in Germany, and Acting Provost of Kresge College.

An obituary, prepared by his family, can be found at:


A memorial will take place on Saturday, February 2, at 2 p.m. in the Humanities Lecture Hall.

Please join me in expressing our sincere condolences to Professor Lease's wife, Dorothea; other family members; and to his many colleagues and friends, on and off campus.