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Victor Gregory Rosenblum, Friend

A picture of Victor Rosenblum

Victor Gregory Rosenblum, March 13, 2006, in Evanston, Illinois. Rosenblum served as Reed's president during some of the college's most socially and politically turbulent years, 1968–70. He came to Reed from Northwestern University, where he had been a professor of law and political science, a specialist on the relationship between the legal and political systems and on the policy-making role of judiciary. It was his interest in expanding the liberal arts curriculum and his dedication to undergraduate teaching that made him a particularly desirable candidate. In response to the offer to come to Reed, Rosenblum wrote: “I will come . . . with a gratifying awareness of your rejection of pretenses and facades, your stress on individual development, and your commitment to integrity and relevance in education.” He earned tremendous respect for his intelligent and humane guidance and his insightful and direct response to the issues he faced in his presidency, including student sit-ins and demonstrations, and the college's mounting financial pressures. It was his intent to work for academic reform at Reed, but the time for that was compromised by the pressing need to work as a fundraiser—a role that did not suit him—in response to the altered state of the nation's economy and, hence, college funding. He resigned from the presidency at Reed, and returned to teaching at Northwestern. In leaving the college, Rosenblum stated: “Reed is in many ways, what I had hoped and expected it would be. A place of deep intellectual vigor, and deep intensities of feeling.” Rosenblum earned AB and LLB degrees from Columbia (1945, 1948), and his PhD from University of California, Berkeley (1958). He joined the faculty of Northwestern in 1958 in political science, and began teaching in the law school in 1962. He was named the Nathaniel L. Nathanson Professor of Law in 1988. From 1957 to 1958, he was associate counsel for the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Executive and Legislative Reorganization. Other appointments included that of visiting professor for Peoples' University in China, the University of Louvain in Belgium, and for numerous U.S. law schools. He chaired the American Bar Association's section of administrative law and regulatory practice, served as president of the Association of American Law Schools, and was board member of the Law School Admissions Council. He was a nationally recognized scholar in administrative and constitutional law, and at Northwestern, was recipient of several Dean's Teaching Awards, and the 2003–04 Outstanding Professor of a Small Class. In 1946, he married Louise Rann; they had eight children. Rosenblum was a dynamic, witty, beloved, and compassionate individual. His expertise in a broad range of subjects lent value and substance to his role in the college community. He was a sincere and unbiased leader and mediator. He is survived by his wife, three daughters, five sons, 17 grandchildren, and a brother.

Appeared in Reed magazine: May 2006

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