Michael Ragussis, a professor in the English department, died at home on Thursday after a long illness, according to an e-mail from University Provost James O’Donnell to the campus community on Friday night.

“As a teacher, Michael was known for his rigor and careful attentiveness to the intellectual growth of his students,” Ragussis’ friends and colleagues from the English department said in a statement.

Ragussis was the author of four books and taught classes dealing with novels and Romantic poetry. For a number of years in the 1980s and 1990s, he was the graduate English programs’ director of graduate studies.

Ragussis was the recipient of various fellowships and retired from teaching after the spring 2010 semester. He specialized in 18th- and 19th-century topics and was a professor emeritus at the time of his death.

“We will remember him as an extraordinary and productive scholar, a generous colleague, an attentive and careful teacher, a department and campus leader, and a dear friend,” the English department wrote in the statement. “Michael meant so much to so many of us at Georgetown.”

Ragussis was 65 years old.

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