The Department of History and Geography Mourns the Passing Of Professor Emeritus Joe Arbena

October 30, 2013

Joseph Arbena, 74, of Clemson, died Oct. 25 at his home. Arbena retired from Clemson in 2006 as professor emeritus of history after 46 years of service.

Arbena earned his bachelor’s from George Washington University in 1961 and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1970. His teaching interests included the history of Colombia and Panama, United States-Latin America relations, Latin American music and modern sports.

Arbena published several books in sports fields, making major contributions to the understanding of sports and the rise of national identity. His reputation earned him invitations to serve as a guest faculty member at several universities across North America and New Zeland. He was an active member of the community participating in the governance of Clemson by serving on numerous committees to improve academic standards and resources.

In addition to his wife, Consuelo Arbena, he is survived by a son, Scott Arbena; a daughter, Robin Beaton; three grandchildren; and his sister, Betty Ann Vest.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Clemson University Library.

Condolences may be expressed online at

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