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January 7, 2004

Memorial Service for Professor Joseph Arnold, Department of History

January 6, 2004

To: The UMBC Community

I am deeply saddened to inform the campus that our colleague and friend,Professor Joe Arnold, died on Monday evening.

Like many of you, I was privileged to have had a close professional andpersonal relationship with Joe. I can think of no one during myprofessional career for whom I have had greater respect and deeperaffection. In fact, I had a wonderful conversation with him in my officeimmediately before the holiday break. He told me of his intent to retireand wanted me to know how proud he was of our university, how specialhis experience in the History Department had been, and how much helooked forward to continuing his research here on campus in the KuhnLibrary.

As a university, we are who we are today in large part because of Joeand other pioneers in the UMBC story. As I told him that day in myoffice, he will always be a part of UMBC.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 10, in the 7th floor reception area of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery. The family will receive friends in the reception area from 9:30 to 11 a.m., with the memorial service to follow from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Interment will be at 12:30 p.m. at St. John's Cemetery on St. John's Lane in Ellicott City.

It is fitting that one of Joe's closest colleagues and friends, Professor John Jeffries, Chair of the History Department, has provided the following eloquent tribute.

Freeman Hrabowski

Joe Arnold was a vital and enormously important member of the UMBCfaculty for some three and a half decades. Born in Chicago, Joe grew upon Chicago's North Shore, received his B.A. from Denison University in1959 and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 1968, and taught atSouthern Connecticut State College before coming to UMBC in 1968. Thoughhis interests and learning were remarkably wide-ranging, his primaryfocus as a scholar and teacher was on urban history and the history ofBaltimore and Maryland. His first book, The New Deal in the Suburbs,quickly became and remains the standard account of New Deal communityplanning efforts.

In addition to innumerable scholarly articles, he subsequently publishedbooks on the Flood Control Act of 1936, on the Army Corps of Engineersand the Chesapeake Bay, on Maryland's economic history, and (with EdOrser of American Studies) on the development of Catonsville as a"streetcar suburb" in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. At hisdeath, he remained at work on a major book that will become thedefinitive study of modernizing Baltimore. His teaching and mentoring,especially in his heavily enrolled courses on American urban history andon the history of Baltimore, engaged and gave new insights andperspectives to legions of UMBC undergraduate and graduate students, whoprofited not only from Joe's expertise but also from his kindness andhis manifest love of learning.

Joe served as Acting UMBC Librarian at a critical time, as president ofthe UMBC Faculty-Staff Assembly, as Chair of the Academic Planning andBudget Committee, and in other major departmental and Universitypositions far too numerous to mention. He brought his characteristichumanity, sagacity, sense of responsibility, and good judgment to all ofthose duties, and was instrumental in the development of UMBC. He playedan active and often leading role with a variety of private and publichistorical institutions in the area.

But as Joe's many friends will know, his extraordinary professionalaccomplishments and contributions are but part of the story. Simply, hewas as fine and generous a person as I have known. However big or smallthe task, however inconvenient to him it might have been, he couldalways be counted upon to do whatever he could for friends, for thedepartment, and for the University. He leaves behind his wonderfulfamily--his wife, Mary Jane; their children, Elizabeth, David, and Ben;and their six grandchildren.

All of us who have known Joe Arnold as friend and colleague are much thebetter for it; and UMBC is a far stronger institution for his yearshere.

John Jeffries
Professor and Chair
Department of History

Condolences may be sent to
Mary Jane Arnold
10016 Whitworth Way
Ellicott City, MD 21042

Memorial contributions may be made to the UM Foundation for the UMBC Library Joseph Larkin Arnold Endowment Fund. Please send contributions in care of Tom Beck.

Members of the UMBC Community who wish to share their memories and reflections foran Insights online feature on Professor Arnold can send text to EleanorLewis at by Friday, January 9.

Posted by dwinds1 at January 7, 2004 12:00 AM