One of Bucknell's most beloved professors, Ralph Rees has had an impact on decades of Bucknell students. He is a dedicated, caring, and gifted teacher who transmits the love of learning to his students.
Jim Carens, one of his colleagues in the English Department, writes: "Few of those who have come into contact with Ralph Rees can have failed to recognize that he is a very funny man and a master of the word. Wit, satirist, and comedian: Ralph is all of these. A teller of jokes, a punster, an ironist, a parodist, a debunker, and an exposure of pretention, foolishness and illusion, he is like most satirists, a moralist who teaches lessons we need to learn at the same time that he makes us laugh. Most comedians really do have a something serious to say, and when Ralph dispatches one of us with his rapier wit, we probably ought to think before we laugh - or at least after we laugh. It should also be said that Ralph's comic sense has also made a contribution to the sanity of his colleagues. For many years his witticisms and wise cracks have helped all of us endure the follies and excesses of the times. In the essays he has published on Marianne Moore and his serious research on William Faulkner, we see the professionally serious side of Ralph Rees, but in his banter, persiflage, and outrageous sallies of wit, there is another kind of seriousness. In the classroom, Ralph's comic sense has stimulated a sense of the excitement of literature in students who might otherwise not have appreciated the liveliness of the works they were studying."
His concern for Bucknell goes far beyond the classroom. He has been active in the Association for the Arts since its beginning at Bucknell (a group that grew out of the Alumni Association) and has been greatly involved in the organization of the "Celebration of the Arts Week" for a number of years.
As an undergraduate, he studied English and was in the Glee Club, mixed chorus, and Student Church Choir.