Volume 75
Number 1

Cinema in black and white

Fostering trade with China

Great Debate

The Visionary

Making a splash

Pitts bequest benefits Candler

A doctoral program for nurses


In Memoriam

From the President


Why do Voles Fall in Love?

The Once and Future Mummy Museum

Got bluemilk?

Pop Culture



In Memoriam

Joseph W. Crooks


Joseph W. Crooks
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT and General Counsel Joseph W. Crooks, a gifted litigator whose eighteen-year tenure at Emory paralleled a time of unprecedented growth, died of heart failure January 18 at the age of fifty-six.

At a memorial service at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, Crooks’ wife, Laurie, and sons Ryan ’97C and Jim ’98C joined friends and colleagues who recalled Crooks as a down-to-earth man whose fondness for Mexican restaurants and the Atlanta Braves was surpassed only by his love for the law.

"Joe never advanced a course of action because it was simply possible or legal; it also had to be right," said President Emeritus James T. Laney, who recalled meetings he begrudgingly attended at a small, modest Mexican restaurant near campus that Crooks favored. "I never liked that Mexican restaurant very much, but now I love it."

Crooks joined the University as assistant general counsel in 1981, taking over the role of general counsel a year later. By 1993, he was promoted to vice president before being named Emory’s first senior vice president last year. He specialized in patent litigation and health-care expansion and directed the establishment of the Rollins Research Center and the legal aspects of the University’s relationship with the Carter Center. Last year he oversaw the acquisition of the forty-two acre Georgia Mental Health Institute site, scheduled to become a high-tech research park on the Emory West Campus.

Emory’s association with the Atlanta law firm Long, Weinburg, Ansley & Wheeler led to a personal and professional relationship between Crooks and J. M. "Skip" Hudgins, a partner in the firm.

"Joe was old-fashioned, and I don’t mean that in the pejorative sense," Hudgins said. "He thought that manners counted, he thought that civility counted, he thought that character counted, and he showed that in his business associations, in the heat of litigation battle, and in raising two boys."

"Who can say that they had ever met a less assuming or pretentious man?" University President William M. Chace asked at Crooks’ memorial service. "The things of the world—power, wealth, authority, the trappings of success—were to him less than nothing; they were childish baubles. . . . For Emory he made excellent decisions. He made them efficiently and concisely. He made many of them. Few if any were wrong. We now live with them, and are better for it."—G.F.


J. Russell Major

J. Russell Major

J. Russell Major, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Renaissance History Emeritus, died December 12, 1998, at the age of seventy-seven. Major, who retired in 1990, spent forty-one years at Emory and played a leading role in transforming the Department of History into a research and graduate program of national rank. He received the University’s highest service honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award, in 1986.

Major wrote ten books on the European aristocracy, supported by fellowships from the Fulbright and Guggenheim foundations and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His book From Renaissance Monarchy to Absolute Monarchy: French Kings, Nobles, and Estates received the Leo Gershoy Award of the American Historical Association for outstanding work in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European history.

Major graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1942 and served in the U.S. Army in Europe for four years during World War II, earning the Silver Star for gallantry, a Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart with Two Oak Leaf Clusters. Upon his return, he earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He joined the Emory faculty in 1949, served three terms as chair of the Department of History, and was named to the Candler professorship in 1982.—G.F.


©1999 Emory University