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The University of Texas at Austin

Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs



The LBJ School of Public Affairs Remembers Elspeth Davies Rostow

AUSTIN, TX - December, 10, 2007

Elspeth Davies Rostow, former Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin and reknowned life-long educator and public servant, died of a heart attack Sunday, December 9, according to her family. In her current postion as the Stiles Professor Emerita in American Studies and Professor of Government at the LBJ School, Dean Rostow was a working professor, as she had been for over 70 years. She was 90 at the time of her passing.

"Elspeth Rostow, more than any single person, embodied all of the values and principles of public service, penetrating analysis and love of teaching that we all cherish about the LBJ School," said Dean James Steinberg. "Words cannot capture what she has meant to us all, for generations of colleagues and students. Our deepest sympathy goes out to her family and friends along with our gratitude for all that she gave over an extraordinary life."

An internationally recognized expert on national politics and U.S foreign policy, Rostow served as Dean of the LBJ School from 1977 to 1983. Prior to that she was Dean of the UT Austin Division of General and Comparative Studies. She also taught at Barnard, Sarah Lawrence, MIT, Georgetown, American University, and the University of Cambridge. Most recently, at the LBJ School, Dean Rostow taught courses on the American Presidency and U.S. foreign policy.

Dean Rostow served as a member of the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and the President's Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties. In 1987, President Reagan appointed her to the Board of the United States Institute of Peace, which she later chaired. Dean Rostow was a Trustee of the Southern Center for International Studies (Atlanta) and a former member of the Board of Advisors to the President of the Naval War College (Newport). She also served as Trustee of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 1983-84 she lectured in thirty-four countries under the auspices of the Fulbright Program and the U.S. Information Agency. For five years she was an editorial columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. In 1991 she cofounded The Austin Project, a comprehensive investment program in children and young people.

A memorial service for Dean Rostow has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday at the Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 North Lamar Boulevard. A brief visitation has been scheduled for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday night at the funeral home.

Dean Rostow's family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to The Austin Project, a nonprofit, human services agency founded by her and her husband Walt in 1992 as a catalyst for social initiatives to improve the lives of children and families. Donations can be made to The Austin Project, 5221 Ledesma, Austin, Texas 78721 or via the organizationís web site, www.theaustinproject.org.

The LBJ School of Public Affairs along with the LBJ Library and Museum will hold a special event in January '08 after classes resume to celebrate and commemorate former Dean Rostow's lifelong commitment to education and public service.