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Dr. Bedrossian, Ophthalmology

Howard Bedrossian

Dr. E. Howard Bedrossian, retired ophthalmologist and former associate clinical professor of ophthalmology, died of heart failure January 15. He was 84.

Dr. Bedrossian, of Drexel Hill, earned a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College and, in 1945, a medical degree from Temple University. After working as an intern at Episcopal Hospital, he served as a flight surgeon in the Air Force from 1946 to 1948. After his discharge, he received a Certificate of Proficiency in Ophthalmology in 1949 and a master of medical science in 1954 from Penn’s School of Medicine. He completed a residency in ophthalmology at Graduate Hospital.

In the 1950s, Dr. Bedrossian took over his father’s practice in Drexel Hill and later shared the practice with his own son for 23 years, until he retired last year.

Dr. Bedrossian taught both at Penn and Thomas Jefferson University. He came to Penn in 1951. He left Penn in 1978 as an associate clinical professor in ophthalmology.

In 2000, Dr. Bedrossian created the endowed professorship, Babcock Surgical Society Professorship in Surgery, at Temple University’s School of Medicine. The professorship is named for the famed Temple surgeon, Dr. W. Wayne Babcock.

Dr. Bedrossian is survived by his wife, Adelle Parsons; sons, Edward and William; daughter, Trinda Ristau; stepsons Jeffrey and Charles Parsons; a sister; a brother; 19 grandchildren; and two great-grandsons.


Dr. Graham, Classical Studies

John Graham

Dr. A. John Graham, professor emeritus of Classical studies, one of the foremost authorities on colonization in the ancient Greek world, died December 26, 2005 at age 75, in Cambridge, England, where he had lived since his retirement from Penn in 1995.

Dr. Graham was born into an old Quaker family in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1930, and was educated at Bootham, a famous Quaker school in Yorkshire. After service in the British Army during World War II, he entered King’s College Cambridge, from which he graduated with distinction in ancient history in 1952. He earned a Ph.D. at Cambridge, with time spent at the University of Munich, Germany, and at the British School at Athens, then taught for two years at Bedford College, London. In 1957, he accepted a teaching post at the University of Manchester, which he held for 20 years until coming to Penn as professor of Classical studies and becoming the Allen Memorial Professor of Greek in 1977.

Dr. Graham’s scholarly interests centered on Greek colonization, which was the subject of his prize-winning book, Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (1964, reprinted 1983), and of numerous articles and reviews. He also published on Roman imperial history, and co-edited a volume in honor of his teacher Victor Ehrenberg, Polis und Imperium, in 1965. His special competence in archaeology and epigraphy led to studies in Greek domestic life in articles on “An Attic Country House” and a study of bee hives.

Dr. Graham’s former colleague Martin Ostwald recalls that at Penn, “his sharp historical acumen, his intellectual clarity, and his compassionate nature soon found resonance among his students and colleagues alike.”  Dr. Graham was at various times, chair of the Department of Classical studies, of the Graduate Group in Classical Studies, and of the Graduate Group in Ancient History. With his strong interests in religious and cultural history, and in cultural contacts within the ancient Mediterranean, he played a leading role in fostering the broad reach and interdisciplinary emphasis of Penn’s innovative graduate program in ancient history. He advised dissertations on a wide range of topics and inspired a loyal and devoted following among his former students. Despite his refusal to surrender to the use of e-mail, few students and colleagues regarded that as an obstacle to staying in touch with him, even after he withdrew to his native England upon his retirement in 1995. In 2002, a number of his former students expressed their esteem through the publication of Oikistes: Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World Offered in Honor of A.J. Graham.

Dr. Graham is survived by his wife, Jenny; sons, William and Oliver; and three grandchildren. The Department of Classical Studies is planning a memorial service for Dr. Graham later in the spring.


Tiger Thouron, Leader of Anglo-American Exchange Program

Tiger Thouron

John J. “Tiger” Thouron, O.B.E., who dedicated much of his life to the Thouron Award, died after a long illness on January 18 at the age of 71.

The Thouron Award, established in 1960 by his father, Sir John R.H. Thouron, K.B.E. and the late Lady Thouron, supports study in the U.K. for Penn graduates and study at Penn for graduates of British universities. More than 700 Thouron Scholars have crossed the Atlantic in the 45+ years since the first three students left the U.K. for Penn.

“Although not a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and with no family connections to Penn, Tiger Thouron was extraordinarily supportive of Penn students. He personally took part in the final selection of the American Thouron Fellows who would go to the U.K. and of the British Fellows who would come to Penn to do graduate work. At his home, he held dinners and brunches to bring together Thouron fellows and alumni. Literally hundreds of Penn alumni have known Tiger as an individual, one who was especially interested in their personal and career development,” said Deputy Provost Janice Bellace,  chair of the Thouron Award Executive Committee, and a 1974 Thouron Scholar.

“Mr. Thouron spent countless hours over the course of 30 years working for the Award and delighted in the achievements of the Thouron Scholars as they pursued their personal and professional goals. For him the Thouron Scholars represented an extended family, and he tried to stay in touch with them long after they completed their courses of study—his pile of holiday greetings from around the world was legendary. In recognition of his dedication to Anglo-American friendship, he received his O.B.E. from Queen Elizabeth in 2003. Even then, he invited former Thouron Scholars to join him in celebrating his own award,” said Carole Clarke, associate director of Development Communication at Penn.

The Thouron family, known for its commitment to trans-Atlantic academic exchange at the graduate level, has inaugurated a new program, beginning this year, designed to give undergraduate students an understanding of both shared and differing aspects of British and American culture. The John Thouron Prize will be awarded to a small, select group of undergraduates from Harvard, Yale, and Penn to pursue a summer program at Cambridge University.

Born in Scotland, Mr. Thouron was devoted to the environment in Scotland and in his adopted home in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He demonstrated an exceptional understanding of animals and became, at age 17, the youngest sheep judge in the U.K., with an expertise and love of the Clun Forest breed. His interests shifted to birds and fish; he worked to preserve the habitats of these creatures, operating a bird preserve in Pennsylvania and working on the Deveron, Bogie, and Isla Trust in Scotland to ensure the health of rivers and streams.

Mr. Thouron is survived by his father, his son, John Rupert, his daughter, Rachel Thouron Nicoll, and his grandchildren, Deveron and Hannah Nicoll. A memorial will be held on campus in the spring.



To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136  or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.


  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 20, January 31, 2006


January 31, 2006
Volume 52 Number 20


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