September 5, 2010
Tadahisa Kuroda, professor emeritus of history and longtime faculty leader, died Aug. 16, 2010.
A Yale University graduate with a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Tad joined the Skidmore history faculty in 1969 and later chaired the department. A specialist in colonial and early U.S. history, he was selected in 1991 as the Moseley Faculty Research Lecturer. In 2001 Tad was named the first incumbent of the David H. Porter Professorship at Skidmore College. And in 2004-05 he received the Ralph Ciancio Award for Teaching Excellence.
From 1993 to 1998, Tad served as associate dean of the faculty; he chaired the task force that developed plans for Skidmore’s Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery. Tad was also a member of the search committee that brought classicist and musician David Porter to Skidmore as its fifth president in 1987.
“Tad was a fine scholar and remarkable teacher known for his extraordinary service to the campus community,” said Porter. “People wondered how on earth he did everything he was able to do at the College.” Porter noted that Tad was often sought by committees because of “his wisdom and the fact that his view of the College was so comprehensive.” Porter also recalls long conversations with him about baseball, a passion they shared.
“Tad was known for his compassion and integrity, his reasonableness and courage,” said Phyllis Roth, who served as dean of the faculty when Tad was associate dean. At tense moments or during heated discussion at faculty meetings, she recalled, “Tad would rise and give a historical perspective and analysis, and would lead us to see things more sanely and productively.” She added that “he was fabulously well-organized.”
In her tribute upon Tad’s retirement in 2005, Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan Kress wrote: “We shall miss every part of his institutional identity: the inspired teaching in classes from LS and History 107 to advanced-level colloquia; the thoughtful and influential scholarship; and the gifted service. . . In policy committees, search committees, review committees, study groups, and task forces, Tad has taught us how to conduct our business with grace and intelligence. No one has done it better.
After Tad left his faculty position, I continued to seek his advice from time to time. Invariably, he responded generously, thoughtfully, and helpfully. . . . Tad was a true gentleman, in the best sense of that word – a person who respected the dignity and humanity of all with whom he came in contact. He reminded us, through his comportment, of the highest aspirations embedded within the concepts of teacher, scholar, and colleague.”
Tad is survived by his wife, Akiko, and his children, Stephanie and Timothy, and their families.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the Kuroda Symposium Fund, c/o Office of Advancement, Skidmore College, 815 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
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