Roy Grow

17 June 2013
Roy Grow
Roy Grow

It is my terribly sad duty to tell you of the death of Professor Roy Grow yesterday, June 16th, surrounded by his family at home in Northfield. Roy began teaching at Carleton in 1979, and retired this spring as the Frank B. Kellogg Professor of International Relations. He was known for his uncommon dedication to students, inviting them into his home, leading them to China, and keeping up with graduates all around the world. 

Roy received his PhD in 1973 from the University of Michigan after several years in the military as an interpreter and intelligence analyst. He taught courses in Chinese politics, the Vietnam War, international relations, political economy, Marxist thought, and guerilla warfare and counter-insurgency movements.  Roy specialized in the analysis of trade policy between China, Japan, and the U.S., including advising American and Japanese firms involved in the China market and writing about Chinese enterprises, economic decision making, and Sino-foreign trade. He spoke Chinese and Japanese, and led the Beijing off-campus political economy seminar eight times from 1990-2009, taking almost 300 students to China during those trips. He was also the campus liaison for the Watson Fellowship.

A memorial service will be held at Carleton during Reunion this Friday, June 21st, at 9:45am, in the Chapel. The panel discussion about the future of U.S.-Chinese relations in honor of Roy has been changed to 8:30am in Olin 149.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to the “Roy Grow Memorial Fund,” in care of the Development Office, Carleton College, One N. College St., Northfield, MN 55057.

Please keep Roy’s wife, Mary Lewis, their son Lewis, daughter-in-law, Meredith, and all of Roy’s colleagues, friends, and students in your thoughts and prayers. He will be deeply missed by the Carleton community.

In sorrow and gratitude for Roy’s life,

Bev Nagel
Dean of the College

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  • 2013-06-17 16:07:40
    Noboru Tomonari

    I am very sorry to hear about Roy's passing. It was a pleasure to have known Roy as a colleague in Asian Studies program since my appointment here in 2001. I offer my deepest condolences to Mary Lewis and the rest of his family.

    Noboru Tomonari

    Associate Professor, Department of Asian Languages and Literatures

  • 2013-06-17 16:26:07
    Robin Wonsley

    Professor Roy Grow's family are in my prayers and I am sorry for the family's lost. Professor Grow had been a great asset to my life this past year. His constant faith and support in my intellectual and personal capabilities helped me pursue and ultimately be blessed with a Watson fellowship, something that will forever change my life. Professor Grow touched so many lives during his time at Carleton and he will truly be missed.


  • 2013-06-17 16:54:41
    Gabriel Rudin

    Roy Grow was an inspirational professor and an incredible mentor. He encouraged students to be adventurous, passionate, confident and courageous. He touched the lives of all those who were fortunate enough to engage him in conversation, and subsequently engage the world to the best of their ability. He was an advocate for intellectually bold, fostered our curiosity, and his guidance was a blessing to the Carleton community as well as for my own life. AS I AM SURE WILL BE REPEATED: "LOVE, ADVENTURE, MONEY". Wise words from Roy, whose life is an inspiration to us all. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. With love and gratitude, Gabe Rudin

  • 2013-06-17 20:41:30
    Jon Nicholson '58

    I am much saddened to learn of Roy's death. Of all the faculty I came to know over my 34 years in admissions, Roy was one of a handful at the very top. I simply cannot say enough good things about him. We have lost far too soon an exceptional teacher and member of the Carleton community. Thank you, Roy, for all you have done for Carleton and its students. I only wish I could have taken a class or two from you. Our heartfelt sympathy to Mary Lewis and Lewis. Jon & Ann Nicholson '58 '58

  • 2013-06-17 22:13:25
    Seth Fowler, '07

    Roy Grow would meet me after my classes several times a week to talk to me when I wanted to blinker my life out of existence. He took me to China, sent me to Mongolia, and taught me how to take apart the world around me with a glint in my eye. He taught me integrity and adventure, words I've taken to heart as personal mantra. I owe him a lot, and to that I raise a glass of port and a fine cigar.

  • 2013-06-17 22:44:50
    Tun Myint

    I consider myself to be fortunate to know Roy as a colleague and friend. I am grateful to Roy for inviting me to join his Southeast Asia part of the Beijing Seminar in Spring 2009. I witnessed a great teacher in action in the field.  My wife, Carol and our daughters, Ananda and Aya, have a fond memory of Roy as he honored us with his presence for a family dinner this past spring.  Our deepest sympathy goes to Mary Lewis and his son, Lewis.  

    Tun, Carol, Ananda, and Aya Myint


  • 2013-06-18 06:40:05
    Leon Lunder

    We have lost a great educator, basketball fan and colleague. The impact he had on generations of students and the support he gave them in all their endeavors was unequaled. He was firm but fair and brought the best out in each of us. My thoughts and prayers rest with his family. We are all better for having known him.

  • 2013-06-18 09:02:37
    Josh Ostroff

    As a Brandeis undergrad, I had the great fortune to take The Soviet Union and China in World Affairs in the fall of 1978. This was after a one year hiatus to take a break from college and figure out how to get the most out of school. I guess it was also just before he came to Northfield. His class was easily the best academic experience of my life, and I felt connected to the wider world in a way that has endured. Best of all, I had the opportunity to tell him so 30 years later over a cup of coffee while visiting Jonah Ostroff (Carlton 2008). And he remembered me from across the decades (speaking to his qualifications and amazing recall). Carleton has lost a gifted teacher and my sympathies to his family and many friends.

  • 2013-06-18 09:18:07
    James Morrissey '12

    Roy was a caring mentor who would meet with me many times out of class to discuss China, entrepreneurial ideas, and life. He gave great advice on the big picture items and was always supportive of adventure. No matter how silly my ideas and quality of writing were, he would remain positive and encouraging. He was thankfully very patient as well.

    He had amazing stories, too. And it's tremendously sad for me to realize that I will not be able to share my experiences, my adventures, with him like he did with me.

    Thank you so much Roy for inspiring me and I'm sure countless others. You helped me grow so much.

    My deepest sympathy goes to Mary Lewis and his son, Lewis.

  • 2013-06-18 09:35:00
    Leah Epstein '00

    I had the privilege of taking several classes with Roy and participating in his Beijing seminar while I was at Carleton. I learned a lot from him, and not only about China and international relations, but also broader lessons, such as the futility of searching for fairness in most political systems. He was endlessly generous with his students, both in terms of his time and his wisdom. I also remember being struck by his fierce love for his family, Mary Lewis and Lewis, whom he mentioned constantly and with obvious pride.

    He will be missed by so many of us, including those, like me, who should have stayed in better touch. I will endeavor to live my life more adventurously in his honor. Perhaps my husband will accept that invitation to visit a Chinese university, after all, and we will even take our two young boys there with us. It won't be easy, but something tells me Roy would not be impressed by that excuse for staying home.

  • 2013-06-18 09:54:03
    Robert Entenmann

    Roy was a wonderful colleague and friend.  He cared deeply for his students and contributed to the community as well.  Sarah and I will miss him, and we offer our deep sympathy to Mary Lewis and Lewis.

    Robert Entenmann

    Professor of History and Asian Studies, St. Olaf College

  • 2013-06-18 10:20:03
    Geoffrey Yu '06

    Roy was the best ambassador for the American people China could hope for, and a pillar of support for the Chinese community at Carleton. He inspired a generation of students to work towards fostering piece and understanding between peoples, with the firm convinction that friendship and peaceful coexistence is desirable, achievable and ultimately inevitable. As a professor, what happened outside the classroom was just as important to him as inside. He cared for the Chinese and other international students at Carleton. Far away from home, Roy and Mary-Lewis welcomed us into their Nevada Street home and allowed us to make it our own. Roy, thank you for everything you have done to make the world a better place. We will strive to ensure your legacy endures.

  • 2013-06-18 10:34:42
    Jane Berne '83

    I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Prof. Grow.  I only took one class with him (Introduction to International Relations), but it was a memorable, interesting class.  It was the winter of 1980, shortly after Prof. Grow began his career at Carleton, and many things were happening on the international scene, most notably the Iran hostage crisis.  The course gave me great insight into that situation and many other situations that the U.S. was involved with.  Prof. Grow also had a great sense humor--I remember two incidents in particular that he took in stride with a good laugh.  Since graduating from Carleton, I enjoyed his commentaries through the years on MN Public Radio.  Thank you, Prof. Grow.  You will be missed.  My sympathies to his family, friends, colleagues, and students.

  • 2013-06-18 11:12:20
    Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg

    Like others, I will miss Roy's valued presence on campus, his kind greetings, and the sound of his smooth, bass voice through the wall on the many occasions that we taught in adjacent classrooms. He has enlightened and supported so many students. My sympathy and warm wishes go to Mary Lewis, Lewis, and to Roy's closest family, friends, and colleagues.

  • 2013-06-18 11:27:10
    Elliot Ginsburg '05

    Roy was a fantastic professor and person. Roy and his positive attitude and engaging personality will be sorely missed. My condolences to his family and friends.

  • 2013-06-18 11:44:09
    Lis Frost '99

    I took several classes with Roy both in Northfield and on the Beijing seminar. He was a profoundly effective teacher, incredible mentor, and amazing friend. It took me a while to hit my stride academically, but Roy always made me me feel like he appreciated my intellect, even when it marched decidedly to the beat of its own (not always terribly effective) drum. The effect of his confidence cannot be understated. It helped me to trust my instinct that adventure and life experience was just as -- if not, more -- important than the time logged in the classroom. I took to heart his advice that students take some time after college before settling on a career, so that when I chose my profession I did so with my eyes wide open and with the most purposeful of intentions. As a result, I now have a career that I thoroughly enjoy and no regrets that I didn't try enough hats on before finding the right fit. And I find myself using another one of Roy's bits of advice on a daily basis -- to win an argument, I remember him saying in Intro to IR, you have to understand not just what the other party is saying, but the basic assumptions upon which their statements are based. I have found that, not just in work, but in life, this deceptively simple instruction lends itself to a much more nuanced, and effective, world view. But I babble. What I really want to say is that all of us who were lucky enough to have known him will miss Roy enormously. My deepest sympathies to his family, especially Mary Lewis and Lewis.

  • 2013-06-18 11:45:32
    Bryan H Kim '06

    Roy was a tremendous friend, adviser, mentor and a teacher. I know that his teachings in and out of the classroom has touched many of us, shaped out careers and continues to impact our lives. I remember bumping into him while I was submitting my paper at 4 am and he invited me into his Nevada Street home to just talk. He expected all of his students to pursue dreams, love and adventure (his exact words) and his teaching still guides major decisions I make in life. Thank you so very much Roy and we will miss you sorely. My deepest sympathy goes to Mary Lewis and Lewis.

  • 2013-06-18 11:56:19
    Megan Haddock

    Hanging out with Roy always felt like the beginning of an adventure.  You never knew where you were going to go, but you knew it would be fun and that the food would be good.  I loved the way his eyes sparkled when he talked to his students and listened to their sometimes crazy ideas.  I loved the way he chuckled at us and used to say, "Gosh you guys are neat." 

    He let me do a comps on Burma when I told him it was my passion, even though he didn't agree with my argument. But the discussion was an important one and that is what mattered.  I will miss our Burma debates. 

    He played an important role in bringing me together with my husband.  I know of at least three other marriages among my close friends that Roy played a part in. 

    Thanks for not doubting me Roy. And thanks for the pizza and the donuts and the adventures and the open door at your home and the countless other ways you told us we mattered.  And thanks for always responding to my complaints about how busy I was with the line, "It only gets busier."  You were right, and I think about that a lot.

    Megan (Clymer) Haddock '01

  • 2013-06-18 12:12:40
    Laura Glander '84/P'12

    Roy's dedication and passion for being a professor is unsurpassed. He touched my son (an IR major) in some significant and incredible ways, going well beyond the usual involvement of Carleton faculty (who are an unusual group in this regard anyway). Hard to express in words all that is in my heart, but as an alum ('84) and parent (P'12), I will say - he and Mary Lewis are *amazing*; the College lost a superlative professor and the world lost an amazing person. Roy will be missed, and his legacy is in all the students he touched so profoundly. Roy and Mary Lewis-- thank you for everything; words cannot express... RIP, Roy. Mary Lewis - know that the entire Carleton community stands with you and your family to comfort you in your grief.

  • 2013-06-18 12:40:15
    Bert Johnson '94

    Roy's Intro to International Relations course sticks with me still. Years later, I was lucky enough to learn about good teaching from him when I was a visiting instructor at Carleton. I am sorry he is gone, and send my love to Mary Lewis, Lewis, and the rest of Roy's family.

  • 2013-06-18 13:06:37
    Steve Cutler

    My wife, Karan, and I got to know Roy in 1968-69 when the three of us were Resident Fellows at the University of Michigan's Residential College.  We then had the pleasure of seeing Roy again when our daughter, Ellen, graduated from Carleton in 1993.  We followed Roy's career at and contributions to Carleton with much interest, and we were pleased to hear repeatedly about the esteem in which he was held by students, faculty, and administrators alike.  So, it was with great sadness that we learned today of his death.  Our thoughts and condolences go out to Roy's family and to the Carleton College community.


    Steve and Karan Cutler

    Bridport, VT

  • 2013-06-18 13:48:52
    Grace Ogilby '12

    Roy was one of those remarkable people who changed not only what you think but how you think and how you see the world around you. Roy had more faith in me and in my potential than I had in myself, and thanks to his support and encouragement I am writing this from 10 months into my Watson fellowship. Roy will be missed far more than any words could describe; thoughts, prayers and mammoth hugs to Mary Lewis, Lewis, Meredith and all the friends and family of Roy!

  • 2013-06-18 13:59:05
    Davis Kingsley '12

    Roy Grow was truly great and he will be missed.

  • 2013-06-18 14:31:43
    Sally Hart

    Roy was a pure, unadulterated delight to know. His interest in the broader world and Asia in particular was always an inspiration. He was kind and caring, and the ultimate gentle-man in every way. I was privileged to be a friend, and learned a great deal from him as a colleague. HIs death leaves all of us so much poorer. My thoughts and love go out to Mary Lewis and Lewis.

  • 2013-06-18 15:13:01
    Alan de Brauw '94

    I'm really sad to hear about Roy's passing. I don't think he knew what an influence he had on my life- without it (nor the seminar in China in 1992) I doubt I would have chosen the career path I have. I thought- think- of some of the most simple lessons from that trip often. My heart goes out to Mary Lewis and Lewis.

  • 2013-06-18 16:26:15
    Jolie Bleeker Klapmeier '83

    Roy was by far my favorite lecturer and one of my most favorite professors at Carleton. And in the early days of my career doing international business in Asia, I had many opportunities to cross paths with him and attend his lectures in the community. He continued to be the one person who kept me riveted with speeches!  Moreover, I was a young businesswoman in the sometimes-not-so-gender-equal-business environment of the 1980's, and he always treated me with the utmost respect and kindness. He encouraged me so much, and the way he treated me made me believe in myself and my own abilities. My heart goes out to his family. He will be sorely missed.

  • 2013-06-18 18:39:20
    David Brunner '00

    I remember listening to Roy describe some of his conversations with Paul Wellstone about China policy. He really understood and articulated well the complexities and nuances of political economy and international relations. He always emphasized core issues over bluster and noise, an he taught his students how to have perspective and reasoned analysis, especially involving contentious issues. I also admired the elegant and effective design of his intro to International relations course. He had a commitment to teaching craft that is sadly missing from many college courses, but typifies Carleton's emphasis on teaching and learning. As a social studies teacher, Roy's teaching practice was a great model for me. I still think about the design of that course.

  • 2013-06-18 19:20:25
    Patricia Martin

    Roy was a simply a lovely man, unfailingly polite, always interested and interesting, generous and gracious. In my 22 years at Carleton, Roy was the faculty member who best exemplified to me the values of the college. He was committed to his students, engaged the community and dedicated to the goals of a liberal arts education. Rob and I have known the Grows since our sons took classes togeth at NAG, and we all will miss our friend. Our thoughts are with Mary Lewis, Lewis and Meredith.

  • 2013-06-18 19:44:03
    Joan Ramage Macdonald '93

    I took a memorable introductory course with Professor Grow in 1993 and he really forced us to think and articulate positions. I was very challenged by the course and enjoyed it even though it was not one of my strengths. He was really wonderful at acting out positions himself and I still think about that course 20 years later. My best wishes to his family on your great loss.

  • 2013-06-18 21:01:32
    Jen (McGill-Rupp) Margolis '99

    My heart sank at the news of Roy's passing. Roy was a brilliant teacher. I took his intro to IR class and I was hooked. After that I chose my political science classes not based on subject, but rather if Roy was teaching them. He had a rare combination of brilliance and generosity, caring and wisdom and modesty. And stories! He had amazing stories. In so many ways he guided my life pursuits since Carleton. He believed in following your heart and passions, he believed in taking risks and giving things a try, he loved adventure and he believed in all of us. Traveling to China with Roy and Mary Lewis and Lewis opened up my world and provided an entry point for many trips to Southeast Asia and a deep love for that part of the world. I feel beyond lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from him. He was the best teacher I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. The world lost one of its most special people.

  • 2013-06-18 21:46:13
    Bernard Maegi '91

    Roy was an inspiration to me and so many others. It's impossible to express just how much he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.

  • 2013-06-18 22:05:45
    Emma Sando

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Roy's passing. As a student, I benefited tremendously from his infectious passion, his unflinching dedication to his students' learning process, and the tremendous breadth and depth of knowledge that he summoned to his teaching role. I remember taking his course on the Vietnam and Iraq wars, a class which continues to shape how I view conflict, policy making, the human experience of trauma, and larger questions of morality and justice. This class has always held important personal significance for me, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to experience the learning that occurred there. Roy had an ability to balance support and understanding, with challenging his students to think critically and deeply about the subject at hand - a formula for learning at its highest level. Thank you, Roy, for all you have given me. You have helped me to move towards the person I want to be in my life, and I will be forever grateful. My heart and thoughts go out to his family in their time of loss. -Emma Sando, '09

  • 2013-06-19 07:46:07
    Barry Dols '87


    Roy was my teacher, faculty advisor and mentor. Most importantly, he was my friend. He’s the one who gets the credit —or blame—for turning me onto Asia.

    He taught me. He challenged me. He drank beer with me. Heck, Roy would even trust me to look after his "gangs" of 25 or so students as we traveled around northern Thailand, and beyond. It was during those trips that I had the privilege of witnessing firsthand how he inspired his students to pursue their dreams, be it "love, adventure or money."

    Today we can take comfort in the knowledge that through these adventurous young Carls, Roy’s influence will live on.

    Still, I’m gonna miss him.

  • 2013-06-19 08:56:27
    Anetria (Cabrera) Connell '99

    I am at a loss for words, except to say how sad I am to hear that he passed, my heart goes to ML and Lewis, how much Roy affected me - opened my eyes, made me grow - in my time at Carleton and the Beijing program. I still remember the look of utter relief on his face when I walked up to him after getting lost on that mountain in China. :-) Such a good man.

  • 2013-06-19 09:27:58
    Michael Wenderoth '93

    Roy unleashed us on China, or maybe it was China on us. That is the best way I can describe it. My last time seeing Roy and Mary Lewis was several years ago, ironically, over a drink in Madrid. It was great to see Roy for once on ML's turf. Our thoughts are with you, Mary Lewis and Lewis, Michael, Victoria, Miguel and Victoria

  • 2013-06-19 09:39:51
    Chris Gustilo, '88

    Both classes I took from Roy remain in my top 5 classes at Carleton.  He was not content with the easy answers or simple analysis of situations.  I also benefited from his wisdom and guidance as my advisor.  Thank you again Roy.  Condolences to his family. 

  • 2013-06-19 11:53:02
    Kyle MacKay Rives, '85

    I was saddened and stunned to hear of Roy's death. If someone asks about what it is like to attend Carleton, there are several stories I like to tell to illustrate why it is so wonderful. Roy Grow's classes figure prominently, starting with how he wanted his students to understand the culture (of Japan, in this case) so we could understand the viewpoint of the people - He assigned us some ten novels to read in a a Poli. Sci. class, just to give us background to understand the real meat of the course, all those wonderful handouts, photocopies of articles from such a wide range of sources - there was so much in that class that we could not have gleaned from a mere textbook! And the reading wasn't the best part of the course, that was, of course, the discussions and hearing his wonderfully mellifluous voice tell those spectacular stories. I was also always amazed and flattered that he knew exactly who I was. The second class I took from Roy, he remembered that I had just come back from 2 years in Japan, for example, and was able to bring my current knowledge of Japan into his class in a way that affirmed and validated my own experiences. Later (30 years later!), at reunion, still knew who I was! What a memory and it illustrates how much he truly loved and believed in all his students, even those, like me, who were not part of his department. I was so looking forward to chatting with him again some time. He will truly be missed by all of the Carleton community who knew him, and how much more so by his wife and son. Condolences to Mary Lewis, and also to Lewis, who I never had the pleasure to meet, although my last conversation with Roy involved the school started by Roy and Mary Lewis for their son, of whom he was so proud. Kyle MacKay Rives

  • 2013-06-19 19:47:52
    Webb Haymaker '98

    I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of Roy Grow. When I was a freshman, I came to college a couple weeks early and Roy and Mary Lewis invited me into their home, and then invited me for pizza on Thursday nights during my freshman year. It was lovely of them, and helped me get through the transition of moving away from home during my freshman year. Roy was part of a very nice family. Best, Webb

  • 2013-06-19 21:17:36
    Julian Westerhout & Noha Shawki

    We had the privilege to teach at Carleton from 2004-2007 and will always remember Roy as a enthusiastic believer in the potential of students to do great things. His energy and commitment to teaching was inspiring, and we continue to aspire to make the sort of difference in our students' lives as Roy did in so many of his. For two of our years at Carleton we lived across Nevada Street from him and Mary Lewis, and they both went out of their way to make us feel welcome in the Carleton and Northfield communities. We will always remember our years at Carleton fondly, and Roy was a big part of those good memories.

  • 2013-06-20 08:00:52
    Greg Martin, '03

    I first met Roy when I was about 6 years old. Lewis and I attended Prairie Creek Community School together and our birthdays were 2 days apart. Roy and his family were an important part of my life all the way through Carleton, where I took 4 classes on-campus from Roy, he was my comps adviser and I had the good fortune to go on his 2003 China Seminar. The best single word I can use to describe Roy Grow is “gentleman”. There are very few truly gentlemanly people in the world and Roy was one of them. But that unflinchingly mild demeanor was an excellent poker face for both a sly sense of humor and the tough questions that he liked to push his students to “cogitate” on. My condolences go out to Lewis and Mary Lewis.

  • 2013-06-20 09:06:09
    Claire McGillem '13

    I am truly blessed to have been one of Roy's students and, especially, one of his 'Watson all-stars'. Although I was not awarded the Watson, the grueling application process will forever stand as one of my most memorable and greatest learning experiences at Carleton. Friday afternoon meetings spent in Roy and Mary Lewis' home provided much needed stability and comfort during the chaos of my fall term senior year. Roy nurtured and encouraged my sense of adventure and believed in my ability to turn my dreams into reality. Roy made a lasting impact on my life and the lives of all of those who had the fortune to cross his path. Thanks to you, Roy, I'm off to pursue a new adventure next year.

    My thoughts and love go out to Mary Lewis, Lewis, and Meredith. Roy will be dearly missed. 


  • 2013-06-20 22:59:12
    Peter Juul (P) 2006,2013

    Both of my sons had several classes from Roy. I had very limited contact with him but a few things jump out. My older son called a short time into his Carleton experience. He was excited that a Prof brought in donuts, had lively discussions and great energy. He once mentioned that Roy thought he could write a better paper for class. Waiting to hear him say he was angry or disgusted, he simply said that he and Roy decided it could be a little better and that was a good thing. Roy had a touch for motivating. At my older son's Carleton graduation day (2006) Roy stopped over to chat with my son. Seeing the younger brother Roy stated that perhaps he would have him in class in few years. The reaction was one of reservation by my younger son. When Roy left he said "well, I hope I see you in few years." And so my younger son eventually enrolled at Carleton. He praised their talents and quietly spoke to them of greater abilities they held. I will always hold Roy in high esteem for the interest he showed to them academically and personally. May those who knew and loved him find comfort and peace.

  • 2013-06-22 15:45:14
    Laura Grant, '06

    I took a few classes from Roy as an Poli Sci/IR major at Carleton.  While I did not become a political scientist, I did become a teacher.  Roy is one of the best examples I can think of for what it means to be truly dedicated to the art of teaching.  He was inspiring in his passion for not only what he taught, but how he taught it.  His warmth in the classroom and engaged presence in the Carleton community are an example for me in my own teaching.

  • 2013-06-23 18:38:37
    Sandy Brawner

    Hello, I am Roy's sister and just want to express how wonderful it is to read these heartfelt comments about Roy and Mary Lewis and their dedication to Roy's students and education in general. Of course, I knew that they are and were very special people, but you have all helped me to understand the enormity of our loss with Roy's passing? I spent 5 days with Roy the week before he lost his battle to cancer and was in awe of how steadfast he was, even then, about how much he loved his life. You were all a part of it, the best part, as was Mary Lewis, and I am so grateful that he had you, and you also had him in your lives. We have lost a true leader, and I feel very confident that you will follow bravely in his footsteps as he hoped you would. Best of everything to you all. Sandy Brawner

  • 2013-06-24 14:59:43
    Khalid Lakanwal, '05

    Few people have had a profound, long-lasting, and deep impact on my life. Roy was one of these people. His influence is felt in how I approach problems, how I handle adversity and success, how to listen, how to analyze, and how to embrace relationships and life experiences.

    The world has lost a special special man but what he left with me and thousands of other students will undoubtedly do good for the world for a long time to come.

    Thoughts are with the whole family and especially Mary-Lewis. Rest in peace, Professor, and so long my mentor and friend.

  • 2013-07-29 13:57:20
    Peter Johnson '94

    I only just learned of Professor Grow's death as I was looking for news of the reunion next year. I was looking forward to seeing him again in person and thanking him for the gifts of knowledge he gave to me. I am deeply saddened. Professor Grow (he always encouraged me to call him Roy but he will always be Professor Grow to me) was a phenomenal teacher and guide. I learned to see the world and politics in terms of people and not party affiliation, nationality or historical baggage. His classes and the lessons learned in them are among those I remember most vividly all these years later. They were challenging and really forced me to think and examine critically about the world and world events. My eyes were opened. I was incredibly fortunate to have been a student in his classes and seminars. Yet most of all I remember our one on one's in his office. I'd go there to talk about something related to class but these always included talking about history, travel, food and so many other things. This is what I remember most fondly - while he was the professor, he felt more like a friend and mentor. My deepest condolences go out to Mary Lewis, Lewis and his extended family.

  • 2013-09-01 13:21:07
    Robin Ingenthron

    Just learned of Roy Grow's passing while trying to look him up. In 1980-84, the years I attended, Professor Grow was a new faculty (I think I was one of his first advisees). He constantly reminded us to be aware of places that were not in the news - especially China - places he had a certainty would be "the" news someday. China did eventually surpass Russia and Japan in the news. That type of thinking, of a focus on a future rather than current events, was very attractive to a contrarian like myself, and helped me to create an international recycling business. Hoping he'd be proud of the way his leads bore fruit. I'm still focusing on the next big thing not yet in the news, which is about a way of thinking. His early career in China gave him advance insights, to be sure, but also taught him how "current events" are not the basis for future economies.

  • 2013-09-10 14:28:46
    Jaimie Kelley 01

    Professor Grow was an amazing teacher.  I took a class on the Cold War with him my junior year and was captivated by his stories as much as the lessons and video footage of the Berlin Wall coming down... I will think of him when I make my first trip to Nanjing with my family next year.  The Carleton community has lost a treasured member.  Prayers to Mary Lewis and Lewis Grow.

  • 2013-10-25 11:59:36
    Alan Rhinesmith

    Roy Grow was the Resident Advisor in my dorm in the Residential College at the University of Michigan in 1967-68.  Roy was a political science grad student at Michigan and a  recent Army veteran having served in Viet Nam and the Asia Pacific region.  Although the RC was intended to foster a small liberal arts college atmosphere in the midst of the big university, Roy was especially attuned to -- and took a critical stance toward -- the larger university environment.  In retrospect I appreciate how my conversations with Roy that year helped open the eyes of a naive freshman and shape my academic career and intellectual growth.  Roy was a gifted mentor then as it appears he was throughout his life.

  • 2014-01-09 13:24:41
    Mary and Norman Carlson (both '55)

    We were among the extraordinarily fortunate alumni privileged to visit Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam with Roy and Burt Levin in 2006.  The planning and leadership they provided was amazing! In short, we have Roy to thank for one of the great experiences of our lives.

  • 2014-03-06 23:13:46
    Mary Lewis Grow

    I want to thank all the people who took the time to write about their fond recollections of Roy. It has meant so much to Lewis and me to know that Roy lives on in the life choices and memories of his former students and friends.

  • 2014-04-07 14:06:21
    Hong Ho '94

    Just learned of Roy Grow's passing as well. Roy Grow was one of my favorite teachers at Carleton and was so passionate about life. I was so fortunate to study abroad with him and his family in the China program back in 1989. I believe I was the last one picked for the 1989 program and forever owe Roy a debt of gratitude for the opportunity and the experience. His love of history, love of traveling and overall passion for life will forever be instilled in all those who have been fortunate enough to be taught by him.

  • 2014-07-23 21:49:07
    Catie Stillman '95

    Yes, indeed Mary Lewis. I reflect on how you and Roy appreciated my desire for and sense of adventure... Your deep listening enabled us as students to grow into the space of our future. I'm appreciative our lives intersected... and that I got to know each of you a little bit.

  • 2017-01-27 14:12:57
    Jon Kolbrener

    I am sorry to hear of Professor Grow's passing. He was my teacher and academic adviser at Brandeis. When Brandeis denied him tenure, he left for Carleton. As I recall, Brandeis let him go because he had not published, or had not published enough. His students at Brandeis wanted him to stay because he was a wonderful, dedicated teacher and warm, caring person. He was not just an academic. He knew China and South East Asia because he had lived there, and had been immersed in the history and culture of that part of the world. I remember taking his class on China in 1977. He taught the Cultural Revolution from the perspective of Mao, which I am sure sounds unimaginable now, but was not at the time. Reading the comments on this site, I can see that Brandeis' loss was Carleton's gain - -something his students at Brandeis anticipated when he left almost 40 years ago.

  • 2018-08-10 18:10:26
    Marc L. Ross

    I studied under Professor Grow the autumn of my freshman year at Brandeis. A course slated for juniors and seniors, Russia and China in World Affairs was a rigorous, yet most worthy undertaking. The Cultural Revolution had just ended, but the Cold War was still very much alive. The readings and class discussion give events invaluable context. Professor Grow was affable and passionate about the profession of diplomacy and foreign relations. My condolences to the family of a gentleman whose sage counsel our current administration would do well to heed.