Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Professor Emeritus Harry Howe Ransom Has Passed Away

Another of the long-time Vanderbilt faculty members from our days on campus has passed away. Professor Emeritus Harry Howe Ransom died January 28, 2014 here in Nashville at the age of 91.

A Nashville native and a 1943 graduate of VU, he served under General George Patton during World War II and was a newspaper reporter with THE NASHVILLE BANNER briefly after the war. He then received a Doctorate from Princeton and held teaching positions at that school along with Vassar, Michigan State and Harvard before coming to Vanderbilt and the Political Science Department in 1961. He was Chairman of the Department during the period we were in school (1969 to 1974). During that time,  he was credited with taking steps to hire more women to the Political Science faculty.

Ransom was known for many years as one of the most renowned scholars in the world on the American intelligence community. He is remembered in his obituary that appeared in THE TENNESSEAN (February 4) as "a true gentleman of academia."

During his 26 years on the faculty, he served as Chair of the Faculty Senate and he directed the Vanderbilt-in-England program. He retired in 1987.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy A. Ransom, founder and former Director of the Margaret Cunninggim Women's Center at Vanderbilt as well as a daughter, Katie and a son, William. A memorial service is planned on Saturday, March 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Universalist Church in Nashville. Contributions in his honor may be made to that church or to Alive Hospice.  

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