Last updated on March 28, 2021
Seth M. Scheiner, a professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University and a founding faculty member at Rutgers’ Livingston College, died Nov. 3, 2015, at age 82.
Professor Scheiner had taught history for 36 years, from 1962 to 1968 at Temple University, then from 1968 to 1998 at Rutgers.
His colleague at Livingston College, Gordon Schochet, remembered Scheiner as one of the original planners of Livingston. The college opened in 1969 as a co-educational undergraduate college with a progressive curriculum and a goal of attracting underrepresented students.
Scheiner “taught urban and African-American history and was, in fact, the first person at Rutgers to work in the latter field,” Schochet said. “As a Caucasian, he did eventually encounter some objections and hostility but went on to supervise the first dissertations in history at Rutgers in African-American history and/or by African-American graduate students.”
Robert W. Snyder, an associate professor of journalism and American studies at Rutgers-Newark and a 1977 graduate of Livingston College, remembered Scheiner as part of “a very interesting and encouraging environment” in Livingston’s history department.
Scheiner had a “gentle and kind” sense of humor and was a “mensch” who consistently supported civil liberties at Livingston and at the larger Rutgers University, said Norman Markowitz, associate professor of history at Rutgers who had worked with Scheiner since 1971.
“Seth was a kind, warm, gentle, person who served his students and the university with great distinction and dignity,” said Ronald L. Becker, head of Special Collections and University Archives at Rutgers.
“He was a thoroughly decent man and a fine colleague, and, whatever the circumstances, I always enjoyed being with him and left feeling better about the world,” said Karl Morrison, a colleague of Scheiner’s in the History Department and the Lessing professor emeritus of history and poetics at Rutgers.
Scheiner is survived by his wife of 30 years, Eveline Scheiner; two sons and two daughters-in-law, Jeffrey and Robin Scheiner, and Adam Scheiner and Lana Faye Taradash; a sister, Martha Lederer; a stepdaughter, Ellen Goldstein and her husband, Allan; a stepson, Evan Shurak, and his girlfriend, Sarah Wilson; and seven grandchildren, Amy, Matthew, Madeline, Amelia, Noah, Carly and Brooke. He was laid to rest on Nov. 5, 2015. Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Photos of Seth Scheiner: (top) Courtesy of Scheiner family; (bottom) From Livingston College’s 1981 yearbook, The Last.