In Memoriam: Marie Marcelle Buteau Racine, 1934-2020

Marie M.B. Racine, a professor emerita of foreign languages at the University of the District of Columbia, died late last month in Philadelphia. She was 86 years old.

A native of Haiti, Dr. Racine immigrated to the United States in 1963. She earned a master’s degree in French at Howard University and a Ph.D. in linguistics at Georgetown University in Washington. D.C.

In 1969, Dr. Racine joined the faculty at Federal City College, which later became part of the University of the District of Columbia. From 1971 to 1978 she served as chair of the foreign languages department at the college. After the formation of the University of the Ditrict of Columbia, Dr. Racine served as associate dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts from 1978 to 1987, and as acting dean from 1987 to 1988.

Dr. Racine was the university assessment coordinator from 2003 to 2009. After retiring in 2013, she remained active in the university community, attending meetings, ceremonies, and events.

April Massey, dean of the university’s College of Art and Sciences, stated that “Dr. Racine’s legacy is carried around the globe by the thousands of students she introduced to the modern languages; transformed into Francophiles; grew into educators, translators, and interpreters; and challenged to embrace the people and places that tied to the languages they were learning.”


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  1. Marie Nadine Pierre says:

    I am sad to learn of her passing. I was a visiting (research) student at Howard University in 1989 and I might have met her at the Francophone Literature Conference of the Haitian lectures that were sponsored by her Haitian colleagues who taught at Howard. Still, I wish that I had reached out to folks at UDC because they could have helped me develop my research question and agenda. I cannot wait to read her papers and to talk to some of her students. Blessed love.

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