Dedication of language learning café honors late German professor

Photo by Linsey Flinn

Liam Fanning
Staff Writer

Students and faculty packed the Language Learning Café (LLC) Monday at 11 a.m. for the unveiling of a plaque and the dedication ceremony that honored a late professor of modern languages at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

The café was officially dedicated to Beate Engel-Doyle, or Frau, as she was known to her students. Friends and acquaintances shared memories of Engel-Doyle, a German professor who taught for almost 30 years at Franciscan and who passed away Oct. 19, 2021.

Approximately 70-80 people were in attendance, causing the crowd to spill out of the café and onto the second floor of Egan.

Kathleen Spinnenweber, who holds a doctorate in comparative literature and is a professor of Spanish, began the ceremony by speaking of Engel-Doyle’s dedication to teaching and how she established and ran the LLC.

Spinnenweber introduced Engel-Doyle’s husband, Robert Doyle, who holds a doctorate in American culture studies and teaches history, and he spoke briefly of his appreciation for the ceremony.

“Beate was the love of my life,” Doyle said. Speaking of when Engel-Doyle was hired to teach, he joked “you all had no idea what you were getting.”

Doyle then unveiled the plaque on the wall outside the door, officially dedicating the café as the Frau Professorin Engel Language Learning Café. The Rev. Dave Pivonka, TOR, blessed the café.

Many in attendance chose to stay for a while after to talk and reminisce.

Junior Clare Young, an employee of the café, said, “I really wanted a job at the LLC, and I was intimidated, but Frau was very encouraging. She would come in all the time on shift and crack jokes.”

Freshman Jack O’Rourke said, “I just started attending Franciscan, but I benefit so much from what (Engle-Doyle) did here. I use the LLC all the time.”

German food was served in honor of Engel-Doyle’s origins. Printed signs explained that Monday was also “Rosenmontag” (Rose Monday), the highlight of the pre-Lenten festival of Karneval, and that some of the dishes served are traditionally eaten during the festival.