Edward Dewey Graham

November 29, 1928 – April 28, 2014. Edward Dewey Graham, retired Professor of History, MSU, died peacefully at his Okemos, Michigan, home at age 85. Edward was born in Montpellier, Vermont. Raised in Portland, Maine, he was educated in its public schools. After high school, he promptly enlisted in the U.S. Army in the waning days of World War II. After military duty, he set out on a career path to academe, earning a BA in history, with honors, from Harvard College, and AM and PhD degrees from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Letters. His graduate degrees concentrated on the 18th and 19th century experiences of American merchants, missionaries, and diplomats in China.

Edward’s academic career began at Mt. Vernon Junior College (now Mt. Vernon College) in Washington, D.C. Then, in 1962, he joined MSU, with an appointment to the Department of Humanities, where he taught general education courses in Western culture. In this post, he and a colleague developed a Cultural Traditions of China course, which proved to be a popular option for humanities students. When MSU abolished University College, he joined the Department of History – which remained his academic home for the rest of his career – teaching courses in Chinese history. He also was jointly appointed as an MSU administrator, first, as Acting Director of the Asian Studies Center (one year), and second, as Assistant Dean of International Studies and Programs until his retirement in 1993.

Professor Graham’s career may be summed up (as described in his own obituary) with a few lines from Chaucer’sCanterbury Tales, about the Clerk of Oxenford (Oxford):

“And gladly would he learn,

And gladly would he teach.”