The campus community mourns the passing of Slava Yastremski, 63, who died on Friday, November 13, after 25 years of service to Bucknell, where he was loved by many students and colleagues. A campus memorial service will be held at Rooke Chapel on Saturday, January 30, at 1:00 p.m. The service will include a short Russian Orthodox Church commemoration, sung by members of the acclaimed Holy Annunciation Choir from Berwick, led by Orthodox Campus Minister Fr. James Chuta, and followed by time for remarks and shared memories from members of the Bucknell community.
Slava was born and grew up in Moscow. He graduated from the Department of Theater History and Dramatic Literature of the Moscow State Theatrical Institute. Before immigrating with his family to the United States in 1975, Slava worked at the Taganka Theater, wrote for the newspaper Izvestia, and worked in Russian television and motion pictures as an assistant director. In 1981, he received his doctorate in Slavic languages and literatures from the University of Kansas. For the next nine years, he served as the coordinator of Russian language instruction at Yale University. During this time, he also taught and produced plays at Middlebury’s Russian Summer School.
Slava joined the Bucknell faculty in 1990 as a Professor of Russian. While at Bucknell, Slava assisted in developing the Programs in Comparative Humanities and Film Studies, and he assisted in the development of and served as a longtime co-coordinator of the Residential College system. Slava’s main area of research was focused on bringing Russian literature and culture to the broader English speaking audience via translation. He published many successful translations of works by important Soviet and Russian writers and poets.
Slava is survived by his wife Irina; a son, Alex; and two grandchildren.
Members of the Bucknell community are encouraged to visit our In Memoriam Site at bucknell.edu/InMemoriam and share personal notes of sympathy and remembrance with others.
On behalf of the entire Bucknell community, I extend our deepest sympathies to Slava’s family, as well as to all who knew him at Bucknell.