To Roy


In various venues, friends and colleagues have remembered Roy for the myriad of qualities he possessed. Let me reiterate what I wrote for the History News Network and add a few more points:

Roy's untimely death will leave an incredible void personally and professionally. Roy was instrumental in creating so many programs in the History Department and the university, from crafting courses leading to doctoral programs in cultural studies, in community college education, and in our PhD program in History and the New Media, one of the most innovative in the country. He directed our MA program for many years and hundreds of students admired, respected, indeed, loved Roy for caring so much about their intellectual development and treating them as colleagues. Roy rarely turned down any request to colleagues or students, however burdensome. We always wondered when (and if) Roy slept--in his abbreviated life, cut short at its prime, Roy accomplished more than most of us can or will if we had ten lives.

Despite his many accomplishmemts: superb researcher and scholar with highly acclaimed and prize-winning books; a pioneer in digital history, a terrific teacher, again receiving the highest award from the state of Virginia for his efforts, he was uncommonly modest and unassuming. He shunned the limelight, giving othrs far more credit for what he actually created, conceived, or wrote. His work for the AHA, the OAH and countless othr professional organizations attest to the wide respect he garnered from colleagues in the US, and indeed, throughout the world.

We had been close friends from the start of his career at George Mason and it will be terribly difficult to conceive of the department without his incredible presence. I recall, when he gave me a tour of the Center for History and New Media after moving to its new, shiny location in Research Building I, that he was obviously proud of the offices, the computers and the latest technology. However, he was equally proud of the newest office coffee machine and took positive delight in demonstrating its many attributes. So, to dear Roy--let me raise my cup and know that your good name, many accomplishments and creative ideas will, indeed, MUST live on.



Marion Deshmukh, “To Roy,” Thanks, Roy, accessed March 24, 2023,

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