D.W. Murphree, adjunct professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, died on July 9, 2013, after an eight-month battle with cancer.

Murphree, known to friends as Dayna but whose given name was David, was 48 years old.

Murphree earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Radford University in 1988 and a master’s in history from Virginia Tech in 1991, and was preparing to defend a Science and Technology Studies doctoral dissertation, “Philosophy of Mind and the Problem of Poverty in Early 19th Century Britain: Education and the Management of the Social Domains of Labor and Leisure in the Writings of Dugald Stewart and James Mill,” in early August.

Beginning in 1995, and continuing regularly since then, Murphree taught a variety of courses in history, and religion and culture, and science and technology in society.

“Dayna will be long remembered as a terrific teacher who strongly connected with her students, as a wonderful colleague with an optimistic outlook and well-developed sense of humor, and as someone who bravely fought the disease to which she succumbed," said history department chair Mark Barrow.

Murphree served as co-chair of the LGBT Caucus and officiated the 2013 Lavender Commencement Ceremony.

An informal gathering of friends and colleagues will meet on the porch in front of Lane Hall to remember and honor Murphree on Thursday, July 11, between 4 and 6 p.m. Funeral plans have not been set.

Those in the university community who may wish assistance or desire counseling support may contact:

Share this story