department of history


In Memoriam: Shona Kelly Wray, 1963-2012

Dr. Shona Kelly Wray On May 6, 2012, Shona Kelly Wray, our medievalist colleague in the Department of History at UMKC and longtime WGS faculty member, passed away. Having been awarded a prestigious grant, Shona was on leave for the year at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Research Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy. Her project for this grant focused on the family of Bolognese university faculty in the fourteenth century. She had just returned from a conference in Brussels and experienced an aneurysm and cardiac arrest. Emergency personnel were able to restart her heart and she was placed on life support. Her family was with her at the end.

Shona was not just an exemplary scholar and colleague. She was also a devoted mentor to UMKC students, with both undergraduate and graduate protegés whose academic growth benefited significantly from their contact with her. Many of the students with whom she worked were turned toward a feminist consciousness because of their experiences with her. She was one of the best ambassadors for WGS at UMKC we could hope to have.

Please keep Shona’s family in your thoughts and prayers. You may also post your remembrances of Shona at:

- Virginia Blanton, Kathy Krause and Linda Mitchell

If you would like to donate to the scholarship/award being created in Shona’s name, please contact the History Department at or 816-235-1631.