In Memoriam: Don Rothman

November 30, 2012


Dear Colleagues,

It is with tremendous sadness that we inform you of the passing of our colleague Don Rothman, Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Writing.  Don died in his sleep Wednesday evening.   Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Diana, and to his family and loved ones at this time.  We all now mourn the loss of this remarkable educator and warm-hearted friend.

Don joined Oakes College in 1973 as the first full-time writing teacher at UCSC. In 1976, he became a founding member of the Writing Program; and as a member of major committees of the Academic Senate, he played a crucial role in shaping the education of generations of UCSC students whose concerns he consistently heard and respected.

During his long career, he was honored multiple times for achievements in teaching, administration, and public service.   From 1977 to 2004 he was Director of the Central California Writing Project, securing nearly $2 million in grants to provide meaningful outreach and partnerships between UCSC and local high school students and teachers in the area of writing and critical thinking.  He served as Acting Provost of Oakes College in 1991 and 1995. In 2006, he received the UCSC Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award.   

Don’s profound intellectual commitment and curiosity will be irreplaceable and never forgotten. All the more poignant, therefore, is his visionary legacy: the Humanities Don Rothman Writing Award for 1st Year Students at UC Santa Cruz. Don’s Endowment serves to inspire us in our profession and invites us to follow his example in pursuing social justice and literacy in a world forever in need of both.

The Writing Program and Oakes College will be planning memorials and honoring the many and valued contributions to students and the UCSC community by this dear friend and mentor.

James Wilson, Writing Program Chair

Bill Ladusaw, Humanities Dean

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