Loyola University Chicago

Campus Ministry

Division of Student Development

2015

Walter Gray, PhD

The Loyola University Chicago community mourns the death of Walter Gray, PhD, professor emeritus, history, at the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Walter served in the US Army in World War II and, at age 19, was present as a member of Patton's 3rd Army at the liberation of Ohrdruf concentration camp. After the war, Walter earned his BA at Gonzaga University and his MA and PhD from the University of Notre Dame. He joined Loyola's history department in 1964 and served as chair of the department in 1969-70 and 1980-86.  He also served as graduate program director from 1976-1980, taught a wide variety of courses, and supervised nine doctoral dissertations before his retirement in 1994.  

At Loyola, he specialized in French history, particularly French diplomatic history. He was the author of Interpreting American Democracy in France: The Career of Edouard Laboulaye, 1811-1883, which was based upon archival research in Paris, Chantilly and the Laboulaye chateau, Le Quesnay, in Normandy.  He also wrote articles on George Sand, Charles De Gaulle, Napoleon III's foreign policy and the Annalist historians. This research was assisted by a Fulbright Fellowship as well as numerous trips and cultural exchanges, many of them taken with his wife and Loyola colleague, Anne Callahan.

Walter had this to say about his life's experience and its connection to his scholarship and teaching:

"My experience in WWII and afterward, living in Europe, did have an effect on my choice of profession. My small part in the war has made me very interested in Europe. In my classes, I try to teach my students about the origins of racism and genocide and the terrible consequences they can have. I always make a point to express these things; I don't ignore these problems. If I'm confronted by a student who does not believe in the Holocaust, I speak very strongly about the truth of it. I let them know I was there."

An oral history interview of Walter on this subject may be found here. Click here for the transcript.

A memorial service will be held in July.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Midwest Palliative and Hospice Care Center.

Please remember this family in your prayers.