Robert Warner, 79, who served as archivist of the United States, director of the Bentley Historical Library, and whose efforts helped bring the Gerald R. Ford Library to
U-M, died April 24 in Ann Arbor from complications from Hodgkins lymphoma.
Warner was the third director of the Bentley Library and a professor of history at the University, a position he held throughout a career focused on the administration of educational and cultural institutions.
In each position Warner held, he had an uncanny sense of working through a single key challenge that in every case led to the transformation of the institutions he served, colleagues say.
Warner was born in June 28, 1927 in Montrose, Colo., where his father Mark was a Presbyterian minister. In 1949 he graduated from Muskingum College in Ohio. While at Muskingum he met Jane Bullock whom he married in 1954. Warner pursued advanced studies in history at U-M, receiving his doctorate degree in 1958.
In 1966 he was named third director of the Michigan Historical Collections. Warner determined the future of the collections depended on having a separate building that would give the program identity. He worked to raise private funding and with help from Mrs. Alvin Bentley of Owosso, Mich. and others, funding was obtained and in 1973 the Bentley Library building was realized. The new building significantly increased the profile of the collection on campus and in the nation.
The Bentley Library in 1963 had begun collecting the papers of Gerald Ford, and with the congressman’s elevation to the presidency in 1974, Warner began working to secure the Ford library for U-M. Observing the opposition to presidential libraries planned at other Universities, Warner proposed that the library be divided into two structures. A museum would be built in Grand Rapids and a library containing the presidential papers would be built in Ann Arbor where they could be integrated into academic programs. The plan was accepted and realized in 1980.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter, appointed Warner as sixth Archivist of the United States. Warner faced lingering issues regarding ownership of the Nixon Tapes along with budgetary and administrative challenges. He advocated that the National Archives needed to be an independent government agency. Though he could not lead the movement to separate it from the General Services Administration, he encouraged work to achieve that end and on April 1, 1985 President Reagan signed a bill that removed the National Archives from the GSA and established it as a separate agency.
Warner returned to U-M to become dean of the School of Library Science. He saw the school would need to adapt to advances in technology and to adopt a more interdisciplinary approach, expand its scope, and forge strategic connections with other units of the University. He was instrumental in positioning the school to meet these challenges, and in realizing the vision that eventually transformed it into the School of Information.
Warner’s wife Jane died in August 2006. Survivors include: son Mark of Moscow, Idaho; daughter Jennifer Cuddeback of Austin, Texas; and two grandchildren.
H. Richard Crane
Horace Richard Crane, 99, one of the most distinguished experimental physicists of the 20th century who was presented with the National Medal of Science by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, died April 19.
| (Photo by Jens Zorn)
Crane’s early work on nuclear physics and the physics of accelerators culminated in the invention of the race track synchrotron, a design emulated by almost every particle accelerator since 1950. His pioneering measurements on the gyro-magnetic ratio of the free electron are a cornerstone of quantum electrodynamics. His analyses of helical structures in molecules continue to be significant in genetic research.
Crane was born Nov. 4, 1907 in Turlock, Calif. He married Florence Rohmer LeBaron in 1932. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree and in 1934 his doctorate degree, cum laude, from the California Institute of Technology.
Crane was a member of the U-M physics department from 1934 until his retirement in 1978 and served as department chairman from 1964-72. During World War II, Crane worked as a research associate on radar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as a physicist on the proximity fuse at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. He served as the director of proximity fuse research at U-M and as director of the atomic research project for the Manhattan District. He also was consultant for the National Defense Research Commission and Office of Scientific Research and Development.
Crane was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He earned awards and served in key roles for professional groups including service as president of the Midwestern Universities Research Association from 1957-1960, as president of the American Association of Physics Teachers in 1965; and as chairman of the board of governors for the American Institute of Physics from 1971-75.
Crane was a columnist for The Physics Teacher, writing on how things work. That led to a book and best seller for the American Institute of Physics, and for the Hands-On-Museum in Ann Arbor.
His hobbies included building and using ham radio equipment, traveling, hiking, camping, raising orchids and cacti, photography, fly fishing, writing, teaching, volunteering and building exhibits for the Hands On Museum. He also supported technical education at Washtenaw Community College. Crane’s wife Florence died in 1993; the couple’s daughter Janet died in 1960.
Survivors include: daughter Carol Kitchens (Fred), of Chelsea; and son George Crane (Ann) of Los Altos, Calif.; and five grand children—Fred Kitchens, Anne Kitchens, Susan Kitchens Wolding, James Crane and Beth Crane-Tarcea.
Contributions in Crane’s honor may be made to the U-M Physics Department H. R. Crane Fellowship, or the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.