Eugene C. Royster, Ph.D., former professor of sociology at Bowdoin, died in March 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.
He was born in New Haven, Conn., and prepared for college at Hillhouse High School. He earned a doctorate in sociology at Yale University and enjoyed a long career as a college professor and researcher. He holds the distinction of being the first African American professor at Bowdoin, where he was an instructor in the sociology department from 1961 to 1962 and an assistant professor from 1962 to 1964. He served on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, Lincoln University, Cheyney University, University of Rochester, and most recently Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis. As principal investigator and researcher at various firms—including the Auerbach Corporation, Abt Associates, and NTS Research Corporation—he directed evaluations funded by the U.S. Department of Education. These evaluations included High Schools That Work, The Emergency Aid Act Magnet School Program, and the Transition of Head Start Children into Public Schools. His research has been published extensively in various reports, journals, and reference books, but his greatest professional joy was teaching. He is survived by his wife, Kay E. Royster, Ed.D.; a daughter, Jennyfer Royster; a son, Jeffrey Royster; one grandson; and a brother, Robert Royster. He was predeceased by his sister, Jacquelyn Royster Venzen.