A Life of Lessons: Rabindra Roy
“He was not just a professor; he was an experience!” That’s the way a former chemistry student described Dr. Rabindra Roy, who retires this spring after a half century as a Drury faculty member. For more than 50 years he has taught thousands of students, involved hundreds in research projects resulting in scholarly journal articles, and served as mentor to Drury graduates by assisting them in earning medical and science doctorates.
No other professor has served as long at Drury, produced as much published scholarship or been as influential for so many students’ subsequent careers as Dr. Roy. His students recall him as tough and demanding, rigorous and hard working. They also remember his interest and concern for them, the opportunities he provided for research and the recognition he generously gave in published articles and conference presentations.
Reflecting on his years at Drury, Dr. Roy recalls the engagement of students in his research as a special satisfaction. He proudly enumerates the presentations his students have made at regional, national and international conferences and the research articles they have helped prepare. Dr. Roy also highlights his friendship and work with distinguished scientists and Nobel Laureates who often visited his students on the Drury campus.
Dr. Roy had a significant influence on his colleagues, too. Dr. Peter Browning, campus chaplain and professor of philosophy and religion, says he will look back on his work with Dr. Roy fondly. “When I think of people who have lived consequential lives, the Roys immediately spring to mind. Dr. Rabindra Roy has been incredibly gracious to me throughout our years of work together. I have always marveled at his record of scholarship and his unending passion for his field of chemistry. The exciting thing to me is that he has welcomed 50 years of classes into his labs to participate with him in this endeavor of scientific discovery. So many of his students have gone on to make remarkable contributions of their own. Thus, even after his retirement his teaching will continue in the insights and contributions of his current and former students.”
Asked how Drury has changed over the last 50 years, Dr. Roy mentions the significant increases in female and international faculty, the greater emphasis on global education, the growing attention to professional programs as well as the physical development of the campus. Although he has observed a large measure of Drury’s history from his vantage point, Dr. Roy is looking ahead to involvement with Drury after retirement. He will continue with his research on a part-time basis, mentor students and be a rich resource for his colleagues and the Drury community.