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>  News Releases >   2003 >   September

Thomas Bloom Roos (1930-2003)

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 09/17/03 • Contact (603) 646-3661

Thomas Bloom Roos

Thomas Bloom Roos, 73, died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 5, 2003. He was born in Peoria IL on March 19, 1930, raised in Winnetka IL, and educated at Harvard and the University of Wisconsin. On June 14, 1953, he married Marilyn Ardel Siker of Madison WI, with whom he celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary this past summer. He served with the Army during the Korean War, and has resided in Hanover since 1960, interrupted by sabbatical stays in the Netherlands, England, and Philadelphia, and a Fulbright Professorship in India.

A former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth, Professor Roos taught introductory biology and comparative anatomy to generations of Dartmouth undergraduates. His research interests included endocrinology, animal development, comparative anatomy, and evolution, and involved work with organisms as diverse as monkeys, chinchillas, rodents, pheasants, and sea horses. He was an early proponent of the integration of computers into biological research and education. He was particularly enthusiastic about promoting science as vital to society as a whole, and integral to a liberal arts education.

As an outspoken member of the community, he worked to strengthen academic freedom for Dartmouth faculty and students alike, helped extend the college's mandate to include women, argued that ROTC programs are incompatible with intellectual independence, and served as an advisor to Native American students. He contributed to debates on the philosophy of primary education in the Hanover school system, proposed an innovative plan to integrate affordable housing with child- and elder-care facilities, and served as president of the Upper Valley Food Cooperative in White River Junction VT. He will be remembered as a profoundly decent and scrupulously fair-minded man.

Music and poetry were life-long passions. Dr. Roos sang in classical performances with the Harvard Glee Club and at various venues in the Upper Valley, sometimes along side his wife, an accomplished pianist. He was known for his amusing parodies and satirical verse, having once composed an entire operetta on the evolution of vertebrates.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn and their two children. David lives in Philadelphia PA with his wife Anurag Sagar and their daughter Ambika. Sara resides in Los Angeles CA with her husband David Jacobs and daughters Iris and Alida. A memorial service will be organized at Dartmouth later in the fall. Inquiries regarding donations to a scholarship fund established in Professor Roos' memory for students engaged in interdisciplinary projects involving biology may be directed to Mary Poulson: Dept Biology, Gilman Hall, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH 03755; +1-603-646-2364.

Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.

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