Maria Haynes, a popular Chico State professor for more than 30 years and founder of the University's Italian program, died July 29 of a heart attack in her home in Chico. She was 86. Funeral service arrangements are pending.
Dr. Haynes began teaching at Chico State in 1956 and retired in 1986, though she continued to teach occasional classes until a few years ago.
She began teaching English and German, then founded and directed the successful Italian program. Dr. Haynes was also well known for starting the Summer in Florence program, where she led many students to Florence for the study of Italian culture.
Among her areas of scholarly interest were medieval English and Italian Renaissance literature. She was a member of the Modern Language Association and the Gerontological Society of America, where she was known for her study of the concept of old age during the Greek and Roman Empires and the Middle Ages.
Dr. Haynes was born in Rankweil, Austria. She earned master's degrees in German, English, and Italian at three different Austrian universities. She also received an M.A. and Ph.D in English from UCLA, completing her studies in 1956.
Professor Eugenio Frongia, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, said of Dr. Haynes: "One of the things she enjoyed the most in recent years was coming in to be a guest lecturer on the Italian Renaissance, which she knew a great deal about. She published a text on the subject which I used in my class. She was an extremely cultured person. She loved travel, collected paintings, and had a great sense of humor. Maria was beloved by everyone."
Marianne Strub, long-time department secretary in Foreign Languages and Literatures, recalls how former students of Haynes' would bring in letters for her after she had retired. "She was a true friend to all of them. They really care for her."
Dr. Haines is survived by her son, Charles, and relatives in Austria.