In Memoriam: L. John Roos, Emeritus Professor of Political Science | News | Notre Dame News

L.John Roos

L. John Roos, Professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame for 44 years, died in Nashville, Tennessee on October 21, his 79th birthday.

“John was a wonderful colleague and friend, and there is so much to say about his contributions to Notre Dame as a teacher and intellectual,” said Notre Dame political scientist Peri Arnold. “In the spirit of celebrating him, I would like to mention a quality that was less apparent except to those who worked closely with him. John was a deeply principled person, consistently promoting fairness and transparency in our departmental and academic practices, sometimes against official policy. We are better today thanks to John’s work.

Houston-born Roos earned his magna cum laude bachelor’s degree in political science at Notre Dame in 1965, then earned his master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Chicago, writing his thesis on “Natural Law and Natural Rights in Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle”. ”

Roos returned to Notre Dame in 1969 to begin his more than four-decade career at the University. A multidimensional scholar, he has taught and conducted research on topics including Congressional Reform, Campaign Finance, Local Government Reform, Ancient and Medieval Political Theory, Catholic Political Thought, Politics and Literature, Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Aquinas. He completed an inventory of the papers of Notre Dame Professor Gerhart Niemeyer and was director of the minor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, for which he taught a course called The Justice Seminar.

Roos received the 1983 Sheedy Award, given to the faculty member of the College of Arts and Letters who has supported excellence in research and teaching in a wide range of courses. He has also won college-wide Joyce and Dockweiler Awards for Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring and a Notre Dame Presidential Award for Campus Community Service. Our Lady Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy annually presents the John Roos Prize to students with the best honors thesis in the field of American politics.

Christina Wolbrechta former director of the Rooney Center, wrote in a tweet:John was an example of the kind of dedicated service that makes academia work.

In addition to his work on campus, Roos was active in local politics and community research, and with co-author Karl King published a report entitled “Benchmarking South Bend”, for which they received the Engaged Scholarship Award for a “life of scholarship for social betterment.

Roos is survived by his wife of 53 years, Carole; two children, Eleanor and Andrew; a little girl; and four siblings. A memorial mass will take place at a later date.