Dr. Ernest E. Rossi obituary

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Ernest Rossi

Dr. Ernest E. Rossi

Dr. Ernest E. Rossi, a former longtime administrator and professor emeritus of political science at Western Michigan University, died Aug. 7, in Cary, North Carolina. Rossi was 86.

He joined the WMU faculty in 1966 and retired in 1996 after 30 years of service to the University. During his career, he served as chair of the political science department from 1984 to 1992 and as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1986 to 1988.

Ernest Rossi

Rossi was an expert in a variety of international studies areas, especially Canada, Europe and Latin America. He wrote many book chapters, journal articles and scholarly papers, and continued to write during his retirement, focusing on his Italian heritage.

He co-wrote several books, including the "Area Handbook for Kenya" in 1967; "Italian Americans: Bridges to Italy, Bonds to America" in 1980; "The Latin American Political Dictionary," which won the Hubert Herring Award in 1981 for Best Reference Book in Latin American Studies; and "The European Political Dictionary in 1984.

Rossi served in many leadership roles on campus through his involvement in numerous departmental and Universitywide committees. He also was active throughout the 1970s and early 1980s in the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, serving three times as AAUP vice president.

Off campus, he was a member of professional organizations such as the American Political Science Association; International Studies Association; Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations; American Italian Historical Association, which he served as a National Executive Council member from 1981 to 1987; Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters; and Michigan Conference of Political Scientists.

Rossi came to WMU from American University, where he had been a foreign studies area research associate. Prior to that, he had been an assistant professor at the Catholic University of America from 1960 to 1965 and a visiting assistant professor at West Virginia University from 1958 to 1960.

He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from Duquesne University in 1953, a master's degree from the University of Pittsburgh—Pitt—in 1955, a diploma from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in 1957, and a doctoral degree from Pitt in 1964.

Services and remembrances

Services were held in Cary, North Carolina. Burial took place in Wake Memorial Park, Cary. Visit obits.mlive.com/obituaries/kalamazoo or brownwynnecary.com to read the complete family obituary or make a memorial guestbook entry.