NMU professor of dance dies at 66

sam.holcomb and sam.holcomb

NMU dance professor Dorothy Roberta Verley died Thursday, April 19 after battling an illness for several months.

Verley was born on September 7, 1940 in Fulda, Minn. Verley taught health, physical education and dance courses in the Department of Health, Recreation and Physical Education (HPER) for 34 years, between 1967 and 2001.

Verley founded and led the student dance group Orchesis and later she established a group called Pro-motion. Pro-motion, whose members are both students and community members, performed locally and statewide, said communications professor Louis Bourgault.

Barb Coleman, a HPER professor, had Verley as a dance instructor when she was a student at NMU. When Coleman began teaching at NMU, Verley became her colleague.

“She loved dance and music,” Coleman said. “We were lucky to have her.”

A faculty member, Verley served on numerous faculty committees. She was chair of the Academic Senate for the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 academic years. She also was secretary of the Faculty Review Committee for several terms, Bourgault said.

Verley also conducted research on Brazilian, Japanese and Scottish dance.

Verley had a passion for the arts, Bourgault said. She enjoyed painting, sculpture and photography, as well as performance, and was a key player in the establishment of the NMU Performing Arts Series, which brings several performing artists to Marquette each year, Bourgault added.

Verley leaves behind her spouse, Dr. Frank Verley of Marquette, her mother, Vivian Sabean of State College, Penn. and her daughter, Avec Langridge, of Ithaca, NY.

A reception in honor of Verley will be held at the DeVos Art Museum on Saturday, April 28 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.