Cross, Robert D(ougherty) 1924-2003

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CROSS, Robert D(ougherty) 1924-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born January 21, 1924, in Grinnel, IA; died from a head injury after a fall June 5, 2003, in Charlottesville, VA. Educator, college administrator, and author. Cross was an historian who was also a former president of Hunter College and Swarthmore College. During World War II he piloted B-17's for the U.S. Army Air Forces, climbing to the rank of major by war's end. He then completed his education at Harvard University, where he earned a B.A. in 1947, an M.A. in history and literature in 1951, and a Ph.D. in American civilization in 1955. Cross, who had already been a teaching fellow at Harvard for three years, became an instructor at Swarthmore College in 1952, serving there as an assistant professor in history before joining the faculty at Columbia University in 1959 as an associate professor. From 1964 to 1967 he was a full professor and chair of the history department at Columbia, and then left to accept a post as professor and president at Hunter College. Cross left Hunter College and returned to Swarthmore in 1969, where he was president for three years before resigning, feeling that he was not really suited to being an administrator. Instead, Cross returned to teaching, though he served as a dean of the faculty of arts and sciences in the early 1970s and as an assistant dean in the 1980s. From 1972 until his retirement in 1994 Cross was a constant fixture on the Swarthmore campus as a history professor. He was not a prolific author, though his Emergence of Liberal Catholicism in America (1958) is considered an important study of the subject. Besides this book, Cross was the editor of The Churches and the City (1966).



New York Times, June 5, 2003, p. C19.