Richard F. Rosser, president of DePauw University from 1977-86 and later president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, has died at age 78.
Rosser died Friday in Maine, DePauw announced Monday.
“Dick Rosser was a great friend and mentor for me,” said current President Robert G. Bottoms. “It was he who hired me in 1978 and our friendship continued after he left DePauw. Were it not for Dick’s success at the university, DePauw would not be the strong institution it is today.”
Under Rosser’s leadership, DePauw restored East College, renovated Asbury Hall and Roy O. West Library, and built the Lilly Physical Education and Recreation Center. The university’s endowment grew from $19.4 million to $83.2 million.
After leaving DePauw, Rosser was president of the NAICU until he retired in 1993. He also headed a consulting group of retired college and university presidents and was a trustee at his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan, from 1992 to 2001.
Rosser received a Ph.D. in political science from the Air Force Academy in 1961. He was appointed head of the academy’s political science department in 1967, and a year later was promoted to the rank of colonel and received a presidential appointment as a permanent professor. Rosser retired from the Air Force Academy in 1973 to become dean of the faculty at Albion College in Michigan, and held the position until coming to DePauw as president four years later.
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