Alan Grob
ALAN GROB was born on March 12, 1932 in New York City and died on September 21, 2007 in Houston, Texas. He was the much-loved son of Jack and Ida Grob. He received his B.A. from Utica College and his M.A. and PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. General W.A. Mann from 1953 to 1956. In 1961 he joined the Rice University English department, serving as chairman from 1981 to 1987. He received the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching five times and in 1973 he received Rice's highest teaching award, the George R. Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was a visiting professor at Texas Southern University, the University of Indiana, and the University of the Saarland in West Germany, where he held both a Rotary and a Fulbright Fellowship. As a specialist in 19th-century literature, Dr. Grob was the author of the books The Philosophic Mind: A Study of Wordsworth's Poetry and Thought, 1797-1805 and A Longing Like Despair: Arnold's Poetry of Pessimism, as well as many scholarly articles. Dr. Grob served as the president of the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association of America, as a member of the executive committee for the English Romantic Period section of the Modern Language Association from 1973 to 1977, and as chairman of that committee in 1976. He was a faculty associate at Hanszen College of Rice University from 1962 until his retirement in 2002. A leading voice at Rice for social justice and for racial integration, Dr. Grob organized and chaired a faculty committee for minority recruitment in the early years of desegregation at Rice. Upon his retirement, former students and colleagues honored him by establishing the Alan Grob Prize to be awarded annually to the Rice undergraduate who, in the words of the donors, "has demonstrated the most devotion to the needs of the economically and culturally disadvantaged. The recipient's activities shall exemplify the values of community and service that Professor Grob lived and so eloquently sought to teach." In addition, in 2003 the Rice-TMS board established a scholarship for an incoming undergraduate minority student in Alan Grob's name. Alan Grob taught a highly popular course in Shakespeare for almost thirty years and in recognition of that very pleasurable association with the plays of Shakespeare he and his wife Shirley established the Alan and Shirley Grob Endowment for Shakespeare in Performance, a fund created to assist in bringing performances of the plays of Shakespeare to the Rice campus. Dr. Grob loved being a teacher. He was deeply committed to sharing his enthusiasm for literature with the students he loved, and he prized his long friendships with many colleagues that he admired. He loved travel, particularly to the Lake District of England, politics, reading, following sports, and going out to dinner. Perhaps his favorite hobby was to participate in lively debates on subjects that stirred his interest. He took a keen interest in the lives of his children and their families and cherished the time he spent with them. He is survived by his wife Shirley, who was the great joy of his life, and by his daughter Julie Grob and son-in-law Gregg Daileda of Houston, and by his son Jay Grob and daughter-in-law Carla Calabrese of Dallas, and by his grandchildren, Ava Grob and Jack Grob. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Cherry Badger and her husband Jay Badger, by his sister-in-law Virginia Dunlap and her husband Howard Dunlap, by his nephew Ken Dunlap, and by his cousin Eleanor Ziner. His family will treasure the memory of his intellectual passions, strong moral convictions, good humor, and boundless love. A memorial service will be held at Rice University at a date to be announced. For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to the Alan and Shirley Grob Endowment for Shakespeare in Performance. Please contact the Rice University Office of Development by phone at 713-348-4600 or by e-mail at [email protected] for more information.
Published by Houston Chronicle on Sep. 25, 2007.
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13 Entries
I will never forget the Shakespeare class I took with Dr. Grob my freshman year. I was impressed with his seriousness to engage his students regardless of their youth and lack of humility :) I will always be grateful for his mentorship, affirmation, and support. As I can attest to, his passion for language and seeing the beauty in literature will continue to live on in his students.
Alessandra Gonzalez
September 30, 2007
Dear Shirley and family,
We grieve with you at your loss. He was the teacher of my children, Robert and MaryAnn, and also a dear friend and neighbor of my mother. Julie, your portrait of our dog Barney, still hangs in what has become our grandchildren's guestroom. Alan was a great example of a teacher/scholar. But his leadership in humanitarian causes made a great impact on Rice as well as on the world through the students he influenced. With love and hugs. Mary Caroline
Mary Caroline (Morrison) Mitchell
September 30, 2007
Dear Julie,

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Judi Goodman
September 28, 2007
My first English course at Rice was Dr. Grob's Engl 350 on the Romantic poets, and my first English paper, twenty pages on the poetry of William Blake, was written for him. What enduring and cherished memories they are! How he will be missed!
My deepest sympathy to all his family--
Cathe Krause Spencer
September 28, 2007
Dr.Grob represented the very best of Rice--completely committed to undergraduate teaching, engaged in the life of the residential colleges, personally connected to his students, and an advocate for those less fortunate. He was a lovely person, and I feel fortunate to have been touched by his life. Rice and the world are a better place for his having been here. To Shirley, Jay, and family, our deepest sympathies and thanks for sharing him with all of us.
Bobby Tudor
September 27, 2007
What an extraordinary and enriching experience his class on Shakespeare proved to be! That sophomore English course will always be part of me. He put both intellect and heart into his teaching; it was his gift to us all. May light perpetual shine upon him.
Kathleen Davis Niendorff
September 26, 2007
Alan Grob was an extraordinary teacher, scholar, and advisor. I will never forget his kindness to me when I was a Rice English major. He imparted a tremendous love of literature and of scholarship to his students, and he was a model for those of us who became professors ourselves.
Katherine Eggert
September 26, 2007
I had no idea how much he had acheived until I read the obituary. His daughter, Julie, was my best childhood friend. He was always kind and friendly to me.

I am deeply saddened by his passing, and the greiving of his daughter and her family. My thoughts are with all of you.
Alice Michel
September 26, 2007
One of the unfortunate side-effects of Rice's college system is that you get the opportunity to know your teachers as people, so you feel their loss more keenly. Alan Grob was a great teacher and a great person, and I am blessed to have known him in both contexts.
Dan McCormack
September 26, 2007
I was lucky enough to be a student of Dr. Grob - both in his Shakespeare class and in the lively conversations in the Hanszen Commons. I feel fortunate to have known him and offer my condolences to Jay and the rest of Dr. Grob's family.
Ron Stutes
September 26, 2007
dear jay,

though we did not have the pleasure of knowing your father, we are deeply saddened at his passing. by all accounts he must have been a truly remarkable human being. our hearts go out to all of your family and your father's colleagues at this time.
barbara and mark horwitch
September 25, 2007
I send to you, my deepest sympathies on the loss of your father. He will be fondly remembered as a wonderful advisor. Hanszen 1991
Alicia Arciniega
September 25, 2007
Please accept my deepest sympathies. It was very impressive to read Dr. Grob's accomplishments in his lifetime. Your father made a difference. He will be missed by many.
Natalie Bentley
September 25, 2007
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