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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Dr. Robert “Bob” E. Newman Jr. ’51

Dr. Robert “Bob” E. Newman Jr. died peacefully in the presence of his wife on Monday, March 18, 2019, at Francis House, where Bob and Katherine spent the last two weeks of their lives together. During that time, many family and friends came to say goodbye. Bob was a teacher, writer, and emeritus professor at Syracuse University.

After graduating from Antioch College, he taught children ages six to fourteen in a one-room school in the Southern California hills. This experience informed all subsequent teaching that Bob did where, regardless of age, he individualized his approach to suit each student. In the late 1960s a New York state grant enabled Bob to design an individualized teacher-training program which evolved into an experimental elementary school, the Syracuse Institute for Enabling Education. Both of Bob’s daughters attended the school.

After receiving his doctorate at Stanford University, he taught at three other universities. He was principal of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools’ Lower School before coming to Syracuse University. He is author of God Bless the Grass: Studies in Children’s Self-Esteem (R & E Research Publishers), Reading, Writing and Self-Esteem (Prentice Hall), Building Urban Little Schools: Where children succeed with dignity (Brookline Books), and A World Where We’re All in This Together (Split Oak Press).

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Katherine Hughes; daughters Megan Dyer (Jon Dyer) and Valerie Newman (Lee Rumaner); and grandchildren Alison and Patricia Dyer and Max, Anna and Jane Rumaner.

A website has been set up to share thoughts/memories/photographs of Bob’s life: and a gathering celebrating Bob’s life will be held this summer when all the family and friends can be together. Donations can be made in Bob’s memory to: The New Environment Institute Inc., The Syracuse Friends Meeting, and Francis House and Hospice of CNY. Please see at