Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Dewart, Gordon R.

Gordon Rohde Dewart (1920-1974), professor of French and associate dean of academic affairs, was born in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, on July 4, 1920. After graduation from Amherst College in 1941, he served in the U.S. Navy until 1946. He received his master’s degree in 1947 and his Ph.D. in 1953, both from Princeton. He came to Brown as instructor in French in 1948 and was promoted to assistant professor in 1953 and associate professor in 1970. His interest was in naturalist literature, especially the works of Emile Zola, and he collaborated with Professor Albert Salvan in the preparation of a critical Zola bibliography. He was named assistant dean of the college in 1962, associate dean in 1964, and associate dean of academic affairs in 1971. He died suddenly in Providence, after being stricken at the University Club, on April 20, 1974. The memorial minute presented to the Faculty read in part:

“Gordon was not a man of fashions, and he did not pretend to like change for the sake of change. As a Dean he was skeptical of much that was introduced as innovation into this university to which he was so deeply committed; but as in all spheres of his life he was not only forthright in his questioning and criticisms, he was willing to state publicly when he belived himself to have been in error or when he revised an opinion because experience had persuaded him. He was generous and supportive to newcomers to the deanery ... providing each in turn with the fruits of his long knowledge of the personalities and procedures of all parts of the University.