ROYSTER, EUGENE "GENE" Canfield, Ph.D. Dr. Royster was reared in New Haven and attended Hillhouse High School, Class of '48. Dr. Royster found great joy in his family and loved them all unconditionally. He is survived by his devoted wife, Kay E. Royster, Ed.D.; children, Jennyfer Royster and Jeffrey Royster; grandson, Aiden Royster and brother, Robert Royster (Jean). Dr. Royster was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar and Violet Royster of New Haven and his sister, Jacquelyn Royster Venzen of St. Petersburg, Florida. Other survivors include an aunt, Charlotte Schuster Price; nieces and nephews, Howard, Steven and Tamara Jackson, Eric James, Scott and Dawn Royster and a host of cousins and friends whom he loved dearly. Dr. Royster completed his doctoral studies at Yale University in sociology. He enjoyed a long career as a college professor and researcher and holds the distinction of being the first African American professor at Bowdoin College. He served on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Lincoln University, Cheyney University, University of Rochester, and most recently Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Missouri. As principal investigator and researcher at various firms, including the Auerbach Corporation, Abt Associates, and NTS Research Corporation, Dr. Royster directed evaluations funded by the U. S Department of Education. These evaluations included High Schools That Work, The Emergency Aid Act Magnet School Program and the Transition of Head Start Children into Public Schools. Dr. Royster's research has been published extensively in various reports, journals and reference books. Dr. Royster's greatest professional joy was teaching. He was a strong advocate and mentor who pushed his students to achieve high academic levels. He could see the potential and capacity in others before they could see it in themselves. Throughout the years, he used his influence, connections and concern for his students to support their careers, especially women. Dr. Royster was a man of many interests, approaching all with vigor and zeal. He enjoyed solving The New York Times crossword puzzles, playing bridge, fishing, cooking, gardening and listening to music, especially classical music. He and his wife enjoyed season's tickets to performances of the Philadelphia Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cleveland Quartet at the Eastman School of Music. On many occasions they drove over one hundred miles to enjoy a Nancy Wilson or Frank Sinatra concert. He was known to have read as many as five novels during a weekend. Dr. Royster maintained great affection for New Haven and Yale University; it was always a part of his life. His parents opened their home for many years to provide housing to Yale Divinity School students. Dr. Royster's father retired from Yale as a member of the custodial staff with responsibility for one of the freshman residence halls. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Yale Divinity School in the name of Eugene C. Royster, Ph.D. A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2013, 10:00 A.M., Dwight Chapel, Yale University, New Haven.
Published in The New Haven Register on Mar. 21, 2013