Emeritus professor of classics remembered

Monday, August 8, 2022

Emeritus Professor John C. Rouman.

Professor John C. Rouman died on August 4, 2022 in Durham, New Hampshire. He was born in 1926 in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, the son of Christos and Soteria Rouman. A long-time resident of Durham and a professor at the University of New Hampshire, Rouman was preceded in death by his brother Dr. William Rouman. He is survived by his brother Dr. James Rouman of Hartford, Connecticut; his sister-in-law Diane Rouman of Elm Grove, Wisconsin; his nephew William II, his wife Magdalene, and their daughter Nia, of Chicago, Illinois; his niece Cynthia Kanavas, her husband George, and their daughter Stephanie, of Hartland, Wisconsin.

Rouman was graduated from Tomahawk High School in 1944 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age seventeen and served as a hospital corpsman during World War II, following which he embarked upon what was to become a distinguished academic and teaching career as a classics scholar, who taught, researched and advised in academia for more than fifty years. From teaching German at Seton Hall Preparatory School in New Jersey and ancient history at Malvern High School in New York, to pursuing the study of Greek epigraphy and classics at the University of Wisconsin, and finally to teaching Greek and Latin at the University of New Hampshire, Rouman is remembered as an expert in many areas of classical languages and literature, ancient history and philology, Macedonian epigraphy, and Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies.

He was graduated from Carleton College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, after which he earned a Master of Arts in Greek from Columbia University. He then studied Byzantine history at Rutgers University before serving as a fulbright scholar in Byzantine and modern Greek at the University of Kiel in Germany. This was followed by studies in linguistics at the University of Minnesota prior to his enrollment in the graduate school of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. As a graduate student he was invited to be a research assistant in Greek epigraphy at the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He returned to the University of Wisconsin and graduated with a Ph.D. in classics in 1965.

Rouman joined the faculty at the University of New Hampshire in Durham in 1965 and retired in 1999 as professor emeritus of classics following a career that was punctuated with many honors for his service that included the following awards: Noyes Prize for Greek, Carleton College; Fulbright Scholarship, University of Kiel; Distinguished Teaching Award, University of New Hampshire Alumni Association; Barlow-Beach Award, Classical Association of New England; Excellence in Teaching Classics Award, American Philological Association; Pericles Award, AHEPA and Daughters of Penelope; Profile Service Award, University of New Hampshire Alumni Association; Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, Carleton College; Phi Kappa Theta National Foundation's Man of Achievement Award; Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity Chapter Advisor Award; Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Order of St. Andrew the Apostle.

During his life, Rouman contributed many hours of service on behalf of the University of New Hampshire and the at-large community. As a founding “father” of the annual Classical Association of New England Institute at Dartmouth College, he taught in ten of its summer programs. He served on numerous committees such as an appointment to the New Hampshire State Board of Examinees in Latin and Greek. He coordinated and hosted several national Junior and Classical League Conventions at the University of New Hampshire and served as a consultant, presenter, public lecturer and advisor to majors in classics, premedical students and the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. He was president of the Strafford County Greco-Roman Foundation, the Classical Association of New England, and the Phi Kappa Theta Foundation. A founder of the New Hampshire Classical Association, he served for many years on its board. In honor of his legendary service to the University and to the greater Greek-American community, of which he was a proud member, the John C. Rouman Classical Lecture Series was endowed and named after him at the University of New Hampshire. Over the last two decades this program has brought renowned classicists and lecturers from the United States and abroad to address capacity audiences on the University campus. In addition to his role as a board member of the lecture series bearing his name, Rouman served on the boards of the Christos and Mary Papoutsy Distinguished Endowed Chair in Business Ethics of Southern New Hampshire University and the Hellenic society "Paideia" of New Hampshire.

Pablo Picasso once said, "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." Rouman was known by myriad students throughout this country and abroad as a formidable pedagogue, whose diminutive stature belied his zeal and passion for Greek and Latin. And by giving so much of himself to others during an extraordinary career, he will be remembered for a life of purpose and meaning.

Visiting hours will be Tuesday, August 9, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 93 Locust Street, Dover, New Hampshire. The funeral will follow directly at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at the Annunciation Cemetery in Dover. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, 93 Locust Street, Dover, NH 03820, to the John C. Rouman Scholarship Fund at the University of New Hampshire or to the John C. Rouman Classical Lecture Series at University of New Hampshire. Donations to the UNH funds can be sent, with an indication of the intended fund, to the UNH Foundation, Elliot Center, 9 Edgewood Road, Durham, NH 03824.