The Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 16, 2000
October 16, 2000
VOL. 30, NO. 7


Obituary: Memorial Service Set for Rob Roy, Former Engineering Dean

By Phil Sneiderman
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

A public memorial service will be conducted next week for Robert H. Roy, a former Johns Hopkins engineering dean whose close ties to the university as a student, faculty member and lacrosse fan continued across more than seven decades.

The service for Roy, who died Oct. 8 at age 93, will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, in the Garrett Room in the Eisenhower Library on the Homewood campus.

Rob Roy at an event during his tenure as dean of the School of Engineering, 1953-66.

"His feelings toward Hopkins I can't even put into words," said Mollie R. Bucy of Baltimore, the former dean's daughter. "It was part of his soul, almost. He loved the university almost second to his family. It was a way of life for him. He believed in the university."

Charles D. Flagle, professor emeritus of health policy and management at the School of Public Health, added: "All of us have the fondest memories imaginable of Rob Roy."

Flagle, who was supervised by Roy as a doctoral student and maintained a long friendship with his mentor, said the late administrator wanted Hopkins engineering students to receive more than narrow technical training.

"His driving interest was the broadening of engineering education toward greater inclusion of the social sciences and humanities," Flagle said. "At the same time, his own life reflected his commitment to increased concern and participation of engineering practice in the social and economic issues of his time, as they were affected by new developments in technology."

Robert Roy was born in Baltimore and educated at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Hopkins in 1928, the same year he joined fellow Hopkins athletes as members of the U.S. Olympic lacrosse team.

He spent the next two decades as a printing engineer and a labor arbitrator. In 1947, he joined the Hopkins faculty as an associate professor of industrial engineering, rising to the rank of professor and chairman of the department. In 1953, he became the third dean of the School of Engineering.

He served in this post through 1966, when the school was merged with the Faculty of Philosophy to become the School of Arts and Sciences. He continued as dean of engineering sciences through 1973, when he was awarded emeritus status. (The engineering school was re-established as an independent division at Hopkins in 1979.)

Roy served on a number of state and federal advisory panels, including several that focused on environmental concerns.

He also remained active in academic circles, serving from 1971 through 1983 on the Board of Visitors and Governors of Washington College in Chestertown, Md., including a four-year stint as board chairman.

He published more than 40 works. One of his books, The Cultures of Management, won the 1978 Book of the Year Award of the American Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Roy also was a lifelong fan of Johns Hopkins lacrosse. "Until he was no longer physically able to sit in the grandstands, he was at Homewood Field for almost every game, even into his 80s," said Bucy, his daughter.

The former Hopkins administrator is also survived by his wife, Florence Sentman Roy; another daughter, Florence R. Brassier of Spokane, Wash.; and three grandchildren.

Roy's family has suggested that any donations in his memory be made to the Robert H. Roy Fellowship Fund. This merit-based award supports full-time doctoral students in the Whiting School. Donations can be sent to the Whiting School of Engineering Office of Development, 126 New Engineering Building.