Colleagues at LSU and the University of California at Davis recall Stephen Rex Stem as an efficient and collegial director of the Classics Program and historians know his influential book, The Political Biographies of Cornelius Nepos in which he shows the republican values inherent in Nepos’s anti-autocratic animus. Students remember a helpful director of the post-baccalaureate program and a kind and humorous teacher who took a “quiet, steady joy” in his work. Members of CAMWS remember his loyalty to our association after he had left LSU for California, not only attending numerous meetings himself but also sending his own students. Rex did his undergraduate work at Harvard and his graduate work at Michigan where he studied under David Potter and Ruth Scodel and following their model became a mentor to many students both in Baton Rouge and Davis. One former student, Damian Harmony, invited Rex to be a guest on his podcast, “A Geek History of Time” in which they made up reasons why Caesar invaded Gaul. For a delightful couple of hours, just Google “The Secret Gallic Wars.”
Rex Stem died far too early at the age of 51 on October 21, 2020 in Sacramento.