The University of Guam is mourning the passing of Dr. Dirk A. Ballendorf, professor of history in the Micronesian Studies Program and former director of the Micronesia Area Research Center. Ballendorf passed away in his sleep Monday morning.
UOG president Dr. Robert A. Underwood issued the following statement: “This is a tremendous loss for our campus and our region. Dr. Ballendorf was a pioneer in the field of Micronesian Studies and research. His career and contributions were extraordinary and this loss is felt deeply. On behalf of the entire University, I extend my condolences to Dr. Ballendorf’s family, friends and colleagues.”
Ballendorf was born in Philadelphia in 1939. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State College at West Chester in 1961 and spent the following two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines where he also studied history at the Ateneo de Manila University. He holds a master’s degree in history from Howard University in Washington DC (1965), and a doctor’s degree in planning and administration from Harvard (1973). From 1975 to 1983 he was an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 1977 he was appointed president of the College of Micronesia at Pohnpei in the Eastern Caroline Islands.
In 1979, Ballendorf joined the University of Guam’s Micronesian Area Research Center where he was director for two separate terms, in 1979 and in 2004. As a notable scholar of Micronesia he taught courses in Guam and Micronesia history for many years. Ballendorf retired in 2008 after almost 30 years of service to the University of Guam.
He is the author of 11 books and over 200 articles and reviews on Micronesian history and culture. In 2009 MARC honored Ballendorf at its first Gala for his contributions to Guam and Micronesia history. (UOG)