In Memoriam

September 10, 2012

Alexander Saxton, a historian who taught at the University of California at Los Angeles from 1968 to 1990, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on August 20 at his home in California, The New York Times reported. He was 93. His books include The Indispensable Enemy: Labor and the Anti-Chinese Movement in California (1971) and The Rise and Fall of the White Republic (1990), as well as the novel Grand Crossing (1943).

Allen E. Koenig, a former president of Emerson College and Chapman University, died on August 28. He was 73. When he led Emerson, from 1979 to 1989, he expanded the college outside the United States for the first time, establishing a campus in the Netherlands. He led Chapman from 1989 to 1991. In 1992 he founded the Registry for College and University Presidents, which places interim presidents and senior college officials. He was vice chair of the registry for many years.

Simon Chan, an associate professor of plant biology at the University of California at Davis, died on August 22 of a liver disease. He was 38. He and his colleagues developed a way to make plants grow with chromosomes from only one parent, to speed up plant breeding. He also worked with plant breeders in Colombia, Kenya, and Tanzania to find new ways to breed bananas, plantains, and cassava, to help feed people in the world's poorest regions.

Benson R. Snyder, who was a professor and psychiatrist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a faculty member at Harvard for more than 50 years, died on September 4 in Cambridge, Mass. He was 89. He was a professor of psychiatry and psychiatrist in chief at MIT from 1959 to 1969, then dean of institute relations from 1969 to 1972, and director of the division of study and research in education from 1973 to 1986. He was also on the faculty in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School from 1959 to 2010. His book The Hidden Curriculum (1971) identified the gamesmanship required of students to succeed in their studies as one of the roots of campus unrest.