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Rosemary Park Anastos

Professor of Higher Education, Emerita

Los Angeles




Rosemary Park Anastos has had an illustrious career as an administrator, professor and scholar. A Radcliffe graduate, summa cum laude in German (1928), she received her Ph.D. from the University of Cologne in 1934.


She began her professional career in 1930 as an instructor and freshman advisor at Wheaton College in Massachusetts. Subsequently she moved to Connecticut College for Women as an instructor in German (1935–43), associate professor (1943-44) and professor (1945). In 1945 she became academic dean and from 1947-1962 she served as president of the college. In 1962 she accepted the presidency of Barnard College in New York and served in that capacity until 1967 when she moved to UCLA as vice chancellor of educational planning and programs and as professor of higher education. She retired from UCLA in 1974 as professor emerita. At UCLA she was the cofounder of the PLATO Society. Throughout her career she has served on numerous boards, commissions, and task forces.


Rosemary Park Anastos served as Phi Beta Kappa lecturer; as trustee of Scripps College, Claremont, California, and Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, California. She also served as trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; the Carnegie Council for Policy Studies in Higher Education; Notre Dame University; St. John’s College (Annapolis, Maryland); and the University of Hartford.


She was chair of the Research Committee of the National Endowment for the Humanities and served on numerous other boards, including the Defense Advisory Commission; the Association of American Colleges; the American Council on Education; and the Danforth Foundation. She was the recipient of 25 honorary degrees from various colleges and universities, including Yale University, Columbia University, and New York University.


Rosemary Park Anastos was one of the most astute observers of higher education and a strong supporter of women’s education. She understood and was outspoken on the need for higher education to be responsive to societal needs and expectations. She authored three books and numerous articles, and during her retirement years she was a contributing editor to Change magazine, a bi-monthly publication of the American Association for Higher Education.


Professor Anastos enjoyed life to the fullest. In a 1978 interview about her work and life, she remarked: “…As I look back, I think the last important thought I have about what I’ve experienced is that, in my life at least, each year has been more rewarding than the one before. No one really quite believes that this can be true in human life, but I can honestly say that I have always found the next year more exciting and richer that the one before. I hope it will go on being this way.” She was an inspiration to many younger women professionals and exemplified a life of a strong woman who combined a clear and powerful intellect, commitment and passion, humor, and a zest for life.


Rosemary Park was married to Milton Anastos, an internationally recognized scholar of Byzantine history and professor emeritus at UCLA.


Helen Astin