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Former Union College president Edward de Rosset dies at 77

By Maisie Nelson

October 31, 2021

Edward Daves de Rosset, who served from 2003 to 2011 as the 17th president of Union College, died Friday October 29 from a long illness. He was 77 years old. During his presidency, de Rosset had a positive and significant impact on the college. Under his leadership, the college added new programs including masters in psychology and undergraduate programs in social work and leadership. He also led the RN-to-BSN program. As a result, Union has seen an increase of over 30 percent in the number of teachers and students. In addition, de Rosset and his administration increased the salaries and wages of college employees. Prior to his ascension to the presidency, de Rosset served the Union for 18 years. He was Dean of Union Students and Vice-President of Student Life from 1985 to 1999. In February 1999, de Rosset was appointed Special Assistant to the President, which allowed him to devote much of his energy community relations and joint projects within the community. He was appointed President of the Union in October 2004 by the Board of Directors after serving as Interim President for over a year. “Ed was deeply attached to Union College and continued to support Union after he left,” said Brian Strunk, vice president of institutional advancement and enrollment management. “Loved by many, a scholarship in his name means his name will continue to be honored at Union in perpetuity. On a personal level, I fondly remember our conversations when I was a student at Union. Another achievement under de Rosset’s leadership was Union’s Energy Saving Project, which involved the installation of 128 geothermal wells and energy-efficient upgrades around the campus such as insulation, window replacement. , energy monitoring and control systems and the installation of high-tech furnaces.The project was inaugurated in 2006 with a guaranteed energy savings of $ 1.8 million over 15 years. In the first year alone, Union exceeded $ 123,636 in projected savings, with total savings of $ 215,199. In 2010, de Rosset was named William Hacker, MD Leader of the Year, presented annually to a person from Knox, Laurel or Whitley counties whose Leadership efforts and accomplishments most reflect the mission of Tri-County Leadership. The organizations mission is to identify and develop leadership resources in the region to create a better and more unified Southeast Kentucky through trust, respect, commitment and service. After spending his youth in Peru with his missionary parents, de Rosset returned to the United States at the age of 12. After graduating from high school, de Rosset attended Berea College, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in English in 1967. His work in higher education began the same year, since he became the director of student union and campus activities for Berea. Ed de Rosset received his Master of Arts in Education from Eastern Kentucky University in 1975. In 1978 he took advantage of his experience in Roanoke, Virginia, where he was the Dean of Students at National Business College. He remained at National Business College until 1985, when de Rosset saw an advertisement for a position at Union College. He was brought to Barbourville where he impressed staff members Ed Black, Frances Patridge and President Jack Phillips. Years later, Ed Black would speak of this interview, describing Rosset as a “brick builder” and saying he was very impressed “by the Dean’s thoughtfulness, his benevolent manners and his analytical style of thinking.” Edward de Rosset left college in June 2011 after 28 years of service. In 2014, Union College presented de Rosset with the Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a commitment to furthering the goals and mission of the Union College Alumni Association, and who has made proof of leadership and service within his community. . A memorial service in honor of Ed will be scheduled for December on the Union campus. Details are to come. Memorial gifts can be made to a scholarship fund established for Chloe de Rosset at Union College, 310 College St., Barbourville, KY, 40906. Information regarding services for Edward de Rosset can be found here.


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