Jasper Rose Memorial on Dec. 6, 2019 at Cowell College

One of the most beloved figures in the history of our college community, Jasper Rose, passed away on June 12th. He was 89 and died peacefully in Bath, United Kingdom, where he had lived in recent years.

Countless students, colleagues, and faculty from the first twenty years of UCSC had their lives transformed by their contact with Jasper. In fact, there is no telling the story of Cowell without telling the story of Jasper Rose. He was a founding faculty member, a central part of what set this new campus apart from its opening day in 1965. His classic history of Oxford and Cambridge, Camford Observed, was an influence on fellow founders like Page Smith in imagining what college life could look like, and what a collegiate university could accomplish. He also brought his personal experience as a fellow of Cambridge—and his dynamic style as a consummate Englishman—to communicate the gravity, breadth, and joie de vivre of college life. He worked tirelessly to create an experience, not just an education, for his students, who remember him as a gifted teacher in and outside of the classroom.

Jasper served as Cowell’s second provost from 1970-1974. He held waltzes in the dining hall, and he and his wife (and fellow artist) Jean opened up their provost house to students, inspiring them to paint, aquatint, and express themselves in new ways. Jasper was also instrumental in the growth of the arts on campus, including launching the Cowell Press and other institutions we take for granted today.

While Jasper in time left Cowell for Porter, and later left the university altogether, we remain his first and lasting home. His legacy deserves greater recognition on campus, because there is little in Cowell that doesn’t bear his stamp. While Jasper is most often celebrated for his gifts as an educator and his grand, inspiring personality—I’ve heard stories about his lecturing in his academic robes and sweeping off his cap in salute—he was a professor in an era when faculty not only taught, but performed heavy administrative duties like advising and residential life. Even in that context, Jasper was first among his peers as an intensive administrator, marked for his dedication to the student experience. It’s less well known, but important: he was one of Cowell’s inaugural residential preceptors, committing his time to caring deeply about young people.

Jasper’s hard work has borne fruit for those of us who have followed him. Though I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Jasper personally, I have felt his influence in the institutions he helped build, and through talking with alumni who remembered him. In Jasper’s final months, we didn’t have him with us, but we had his artwork and his remarkable way of seeing the world through our Portraits from Memory show at the Pickard Smith gallery. One of his other pieces still hangs in the provost house, a part of my daily life and the visual history of this place.

It’s been a difficult year for our Cowell community. Jasper is the third provost we’ve lost, along with his peers John Dizikes and Rich Randolph, who succeeded him in the job. While Jasper left Santa Cruz, his legacy remains. Last year, an oral history was conducted with Jasper about his life and work at UCSC. It is currently being edited and will be released later this year for anyone who wants to hear Jasper’s story and legacy in his own words.

In this time, we extend our condolences to Jasper’s wife, Jean, and his sons William and Inigo, then and now also a part of our Cowell community.

We hope you will reach out with your own memories of Jasper.

--Alan Christy, Provost of Cowell College


More information about Jasper and his time at UC Santa Cruz, please visit Jack Daley's website: http://www.jasperroseucsc.com/

Memorial Details

A memorial celebration will take place on Friday, December 6, 2019, 12-2pm at the Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery. 


Please register for Jasper's Memorial here. Registration will be open until Nov. 27, 2019.


Please park in lots 106 (handicap), 107 (near the Cowell Circle), 109 and 110 (lower CW/ST parking lots). Overflow parking is located at Merrill College. Parking attendants will be on hand to facilitate the sale of parking permits. Four-hour parking permits are $5, eight-hour parking permits are $10. Permits can also be obtained at the kiosk at the base of campus.

Please email Alice Folkins for inquiries.