In Memoriam

Dana K. Greene
1942 – 2023

Dana Katherine Greene, President Emerita of the Evelyn Underhill Association, died on December 29, 2023, at her home in Alexandria, Virginia, surrounded by family members.

Born in 1942 in Port Monmouth, New Jersey, to Charles and Dorothea Greene, she had two sisters, Mary and Karen, and a brother, David. She graduated from the College of New Rochelle in New York, where she wrote her senior thesis on Dorothy Day, an early inspiration for her. She then joined the second group of Peace Corps volunteers to go overseas and served for two years in Costa Rica. On her return home, she earned a master’s degree in history at Northern Illinois University and a PhD in humanities at Emory University, where she met her husband, Richard Roesel, at the local Newman House. They were married for 55 years and had four daughters, Kristin, Justin, Lauren, and Ryan.

First, as a history professor and Associate Provost for Faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Dana’s teaching enriched the lives of many students for almost 30 years. Then, as Dean and CEO of Oxford College at Emory University, she oversaw the growth of its liberal arts-intensive program for first- and second-year student-scholars. The college established the Dana Greene Distinguished Lecture Series in her honor, and she delivered the inaugural lecture on “Telling Lives: The Work of the Biographer.” She also gave Emory’s Sheth Distinguished Lecture, speaking to emeriti and other faculty on “Field Notes of a Biographer.”

Dana wrote five biographies, on Jane Kenyon (2023), Elizabeth Jennings (2018), Denise Levertov (2012), Evelyn Underhill (1998), and Maisie Ward (1997). She edited four books, including the notebooks of Evelyn Underhill (1993), Underhill’s articles on mysticism, prayer, pacificism, and religious experience (1988), the speeches and writings of Olympia Brown (1986), and the sermons of Lucretia Mott (1980). Dana also wrote countless articles, essays, lectures, and papers on biography, poetry, and spirituality. She directed workshops, led retreats and pilgrimages, and attended many conferences and trips at home and abroad, from Africa to China, always in support of learning and scholarship. She was a member of the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality, as well as a regular contributing writer for the National Catholic Reporter.

Her spiritual journey was a guiding force in her life, her husband has written, one that allowed her to bring the fullness of herself to the service of others. She prayed daily and meditated silently. She lived with joy, constancy, grace, and compassion. She attended religious services in many faiths, but especially her Roman Catholic faith. She actively worked at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, DC, where she delivered weekly meditations, the Green Bough House of Prayer in Adrian, Georgia, Emory’s Aquinas Center of Theology, where she served as executive director, the Campagna Center in Alexandria, where she taught English to immigrants, and, of course, the Evelyn Underhill Association, which she founded in 1989 with lawyer and Episcopal priest Milo Coerper.

Dana was interred on January 5, 2024, at Cool Springs Cemetery in Berryville, Virginia. A weekend of Memorial Services and February 17-18 celebrated her life. Livestreams of these events, together with reflections in Dana’s memory, can be found on her obituary site

In memory of and thanksgiving for the life of Dana Greene, the Evelyn Underhill Association is raising funds to purchase the well-known, original icon of Evelyn Underhill by Suzanne Schleck. This was a project dear to Dana’s heart. Contributions in Dana’s memory can be sent to the Evelyn Underhill Association, PO Box 7326, Silver Spring, MD 20907. If you have memories of Dana to share, please do send them to