May 5, 2000
To: The Campus Community
From: Chancellor Greenwood,
Re: Death of Peter Rushton
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of lecturer Peter Rushton,
who died on Monday, April 24, at the age of 50.
Lecturer Rushton's contributions to the campus as a teacher of Chinese language spanned
nearly two decades. He received his Ph.D. in Chinese language from Stanford University
in 1979 and joined UCSC's Language Program faculty in 1984. A highly respected scholar,
Peter Rushton's skills were sought after by many other institutions: from 1993 to
1997 he took a
leave from the university to serve as visiting assistant professor at Dartmouth College
(where he also held the position of director of Dartmouth's foreign study program
in Beijing), and he served as a visiting scholar at Stanford University during the
1997-98 academic year.
Although I did not know him personally, Peter Rushton's contributions to the Language
Program are well known, and he was warmly regarded by colleagues and students alike
as a dedicated and talented teacher.
Below, I attach a letter from Humanities Dean Jorge Hankamer, who had the opportunity
to work with Peter Rushton. The letter further articulates the many contributions
made to this campus and to academia by Lecturer Rushton.
Plans for a memorial service have not yet been finalized.
Please join me in extending condolences to the family, friends, students, and colleagues
of Peter Rushton; and to his wife, Jacquie Ku, who is also a lecturer in Chinese
language at UCSC.
Humanities Division faculty and staff:
I am writing to you to send my condolences upon the passing of Peter Rushton.
I know that to many of you, Peter was a personal friend as well as a trusted colleague.
His passing is a great loss to the campus, to his colleagues, and to his students.
This news has saddened all of us in the division. Our deepest condolences are extended
to his wife, Jacquie Ku, also a lecturer in Chinese language.
Having completed his Ph.D. in Chinese Language and Literature at Stanford University
in 1979, Peter Rushton was hired by our Language Program in 1984, taking a leave
in 1993-97 as Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College, where he also served
as Dartmouth's Director of the Foreign Study Program at Beijing Normal University.
During 1997-98, he served as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University's Department
of Asian Languages.
Lecturer Rushton deserves much of the credit for creating a strong and reputable
Chinese language program on this campus. He taught the full range of the Chinese
language curriculum, from Chinese 1 to advanced courses in Chinese literature and
philosophy for the UCSC Language Program. He has participated actively as a member
of the Language Program faculty, heading the Chinese Language section, and serving
as Coordinator of East Asian Studies in the mid-1980s.
Peter was also known as a strong advocate for lecturers and he gave considerable
time to their causes and concerns. His students have described him over the years
as a dedicated, demanding, and highly successful teacher of Chinese language. Rushton's
enthusiastic energy and strong institutional commitment is truly irreplaceable. He
will be sorely missed by students,
colleagues, and staff.
Dean of Humanities