Thomas Howard Rawles

Years at the college:   1935 - 1962

B.A. University of Indiana 1919
M.A. University of Indiana 1925
Ph.D. Yale Univerrsity 1927


Thomas Rawles (1897 - 1962) was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and served in the Rainbow Division during World War I before turning to academic studies. After earning a doctorate in mathematics from Yale in 1927, he taught there for eight years before coming to Colorado College as Dean of Freshmen and Director of Admissions in 1935. He married Letitia Wann, a student at the college, in 1936. His work was interrupted in 1942 by further war service, but he was back at the college in 1944 as Acting Dean before becoming Treasurer a short time later. Rawles left the administration in 1955 and returned to the classroom; he was promoted to professor in 1957.

In 1955, his otherwise happy life was marred when his 14 year old son, Thomas Post Rawles, died of a gunshot wound. Four years later in January of 1959, Rawles donated stock to the college to set up a mathematics fund in honor of his son. The fund, now known as the Rawles fund, is used for various department needs including an annual prize for mathematics students known as the Thomas Post Rawles Prize.

Rawles was a devoted servant of the college and a sympathetic teacher. He was an avid mountain climber, one of the first falconers in America, and an amateur astronomer. In his home at 1945 Mesa Road, he tended an extensive collection of cacti. He had a fatal heart attack in 1962; the newspaper claims he was teaching during the attack, but a close friend recalled that he was on the tennis court. He was taken home where he died on November 1, 1962. A memorial article by Dr. Robert Stabler (faculty member) appeared in the 1963 Nugget and commented on Rawles' great influence on the life of the college. "His wise counsel was sought from the lowest student to the office of the President."


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