Longtime Associate Professor of History Dies
Nyaggah Was President of California Faculty Association's CSUF Chapter
March 29, 2013
Mougo Nyaggah at the inauguration of CSUF President Mildred García earlier this year.
Mougo Nyaggah, associate professor of history and president of the Cal State Fullerton chapter of the California Faculty Association, died March 29 at St. Jude Medical Center. He suffered a heart attack earlier in the week and had been in intensive care. He was 75.
Nyaggah, of Placentia, joined the faculty at CSUF in 1973.
“I remember Mougo talking to me about his teaching philosophy when I was hired at CSUF 12 years ago,” said Jochen Burgtorf, chair and professor of history. “He said something like, 'Teach them to think and learn critically. Teach them the material as if it has never been taught before. And teach them by being fair to all.’ For almost 10 years, our offices were across the hall from each other, and I was always impressed by how well he was keeping up with political and social developments in my own homeland. I remember him saying, more than once, ‘We are both from the other side of the ocean, so we have to make sure that our students understand that Orange County is not all there is.’ ”
Born in Kenya, Nyaggah earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1964 from St. Mary’s College of California and a master's degree in history in 1967 and a doctorate in African history in 1974 from UC Berkeley. Prior to working at CSUF, Nyaggah held teaching positions at St. Mary’s College, College of the Holy Names in Oakland, College of San Mateo, UC Berkeley and the City College of San Francisco.
“Well into the last few years, Mougo’s archival research and field work in Africa’s colonial and modern period took him to Rhodes House (part of Oxford University’s Bodleian Library) and the British National Archives, as well as archives and libraries in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and all over the United States,” Burgtorf said. “His publications appeared in the Journal of the Pan African Study Society, the Journal of African Economic History, the Journal of African Studies, and other scholarly venues. He presented papers at numerous national and international conferences. He was a member of the American Historical, African Studies and American Anthropological associations, the South African Historical Society and the Association of Asian Studies. ... We will all miss him tremendously.”
Nyaggah is survived by his wife, Lynette, and four children. A memorial service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Fullerton, 1145 W. Valencia Mesa Dr.