Hispanic studies’ Pérez loses battle with cancer

Bernardo Pérez, associate professor of Hispanic studies, died Jan. 19. He was 64.

“We are sad to inform everyone that J. Bernardo Peréz, our beloved colleague and Rice professor since 1980, passed away Saturday afternoon at MD Anderson after succumbing to a battle with cancer,” Dean Nick Shumway wrote in a memo to the School of Humanities faculty last week.

Bernardo Pérez

Peréz devoted his life to teaching Spanish literature and culture at Rice for nearly 33 years. His expertise was in the contemporary literature of Spain (20th and 21st centuries), and he taught courses on Spanish novel and poetry. His most current research dealt with the uses of irony in the work of Torrente Ballester.

In 2010 Pérez received Rice’s Nicolas Salgo Distinguished Teacher Award based on voting by the junior and senior classes. He was an associate at Sid Richardson College.

He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Universidad de Granada, Spain, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

A memorial service for Peréz was held Jan. 24 in the Rice Memorial Chapel.

His wife, Gloria, and their two children, Cristina and Daniel, and other family members requested that donations be made to a scholarship at Rice for students to study in Spain. Donations can be sent to Rice University, Attn: J. Bernardo Pérez Memorial Scholarship Fund, Office of Development, MS-81, P.O. Box 1892, Houston, TX 77251-1892. Gifts can be made online at giving.rice.edu by clicking “Make a gift” at the top of page and specifying that the gift is for the J. Bernardo Pérez Memorial Scholarship Fund in the special instructions.



About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.