GREENCASTLE, Ind. - Dr. Richard F. Rosser, 78, DePauw's seventeenth president who led the University from 1977 to 1986, died Sept. 21, 2007 in Maine.
Under Rosser's leadership, DePauw restored historic East College, renovated Asbury Hall and Roy O. West Library, and built the Lilly Physical Education and Recreation Center. The University's endowment grew four-fold from $19.4 million to $83.2 million.
Rosser led the University until 1986, when he retired and was succeeded by current President Robert G. Bottoms.
"Dick Rosser was a great friend and mentor for me," says 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."
After leaving DePauw, Rosser became president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), positions he held until his retirement in 1993.
Until recently, Rosser headed The Presidents Group, a consulting group of retired college and university presidents. He served his alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan, as trustee-at-large from 1992 to 2001 and had been a life trustee since 2001.
A native of Arcanum, Ohio, Rosser was born in 1929. He graduated from Ohio Wesleyan with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1951. After earning a master's degree in public administration in 1952 at Syracuse University, he entered the U.S. Air Force as a second lieutenant, studied the Russian language, and served four years in Air Force intelligence before returning to Syracuse in1958 to pursue his doctorate in political science.
Rosser was assigned to the teaching faculty at the Air Force Academy in 1959, receiving his Ph.D. 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.