In Memoriam

By mrandal5@johnshopkins.edu

Joel Grossman, professor emeritus of political science, died June 2 of cancer at his Baltimore residence. He was 81.

A renowned scholar of courts and the Constitution, Professor Grossman spent 33 years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before coming to Johns Hopkins in 1996. He was the author or editor of five books, including The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. He also authored a number of widely influential articles on courts and constitutional law. Grossman served as editor of the Law & Society Review and received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association in 2005. In 2007, he was recognized with the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Award. He remained active as a member of The Academy at Johns Hopkins after his retirement from the department in 2013, and in 2015, chaired the 14-member Task Force on Academic Freedom that was responsible for drafting a statement guiding academic freedom for the university community.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Grossman completed his undergraduate degree in political science at Queen’s College, CUNY. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees—also in political science—from the University of Iowa.


Aihud Pevsner, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, died of cancer June 17 at his Baltimore residence. He was 92.

Pevsner was born in what is now Haifa, Israel, on December 18, 1925. His father was an immigrant from Belarus, and his mother was from Jerusalem. In 1928, the family moved to New York.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1945, and married Lucille Wolf in 1949. He received his PhD in physics from Columbia University and served on the faculty at MIT before joining Johns Hopkins University in 1956.

Pevsner is credited with introducing experimental high-energy physics as a new field of study, and his extensive work led to the discovery of the eta meson, a type of subatomic particle made up of quarks and antiquarks. This discovery was crucial to the development of the Standard Model of particle physics, and was named in honor of Hopkins, with the Greek letter eta being equivalent to “H.” Pevsner served as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the 1970s, and was a fellow of the American Physical Society and a Trustee of Associated Universities Inc. He received two fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and a Senior Research Fulbright Fellowship. In 1977, he became the first recipient of the Jacob L. Hain endowed professorship.


Willie Lee Rose, professor emerita of history, died in her sleep on June 20 at her Baltimore residence. She was 91.

A noted scholar of slavery and the Reconstruction period, Rose is perhaps best known as the author of Rehearsal for Reconstruction, a book that won several major prizes and that was considered a groundbreaking tome in the scholarly reconsideration of North American slavery. In a review of the book, The New York Times said Rose “has given us what is assuredly a definitive work.”

A native of Bedford, Virginia, Rose graduated from Mary Washington College and went on to teach high school in Elkridge, Maryland, from 1947 to 1949, when she married William G. Rose. She continued to teach until 1955, when she began to pursue graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University.

After receiving a doctoral degree from Hopkins, Rose taught at the University of Virginia, where she was named Commonwealth Professor of American History. She also served as the Cardozo Visiting Professor at Yale.

In 1970, Rose was appointed chair of the American Historical Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Historical Profession.

Rose was hired as a full professor at Johns Hopkins in 1973. In 1977, she was the first woman to be selected as the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at Oxford University. Established in 1922, the selective and prestigious professorship enables a distinguished American historian to spend a year in Oxford teaching, researching, and leading seminars.

Shortly after returning to Baltimore from Oxford, Rose suffered a debilitating stroke that greatly limited her academic work.