In Memoriam: William “Bill” Sessions

Posted On August 16, 2016 by Tiffany Carter
Categories English, News

The College of Arts and Sciences is sad to announce the passing of William “Bill” Sessions, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Georgia State University. Sessions was a gifted professor, well respected by the English community. 289290

“He was a man of many amazing experiences,” said Paul Voss, English professor and family friend. “He was extremely charitable, an amazing dancer, a dedicated husband, a great father and a dear friend.”

Sessions received his Ph.D. in English and comparative literature from Columbia University and began his work at Georgia State University in 1966. He taught at Georgia State for more than 30 years.

“He was very dedicated over his career and published a number of important books,” Voss said. “He really inserted himself into the Georgia State community. He saw the school’s transformation and its enormous growth from a small college to Georgia State University.”

 While at Georgia State, Sessions published works including “Francis Bacon Revisited, Twayne English Authors” and “Henry Howard, the Poet Earl of Surrey: A Life.”

Sessions also had a love for his friend, late writer Flannery O’Connor. In 2013, he wrote the introduction to “A Prayer Journal,” a compilation of O’Connor’s personal prayers.

His final project, “Stalking Joy: The Life and Times of Flannery O’Connor,” is the only family-authorized biography of O’Connor’s life and will be released posthumously.

“On one of my last visits with Bill, I read him Flannery O’Connor,” Voss said. “That will be a memory I will cherish forever.”

Sessions is survived by his two sons Andrew and Eric. He will be buried in Conway, SC next to his wife, Zenobia “Jenny” Sessions.

 In lieu of flowers, Sessions’ family requests donations be sent to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers, GA.