Memorial for Don Rothman planned for Saturday, January 26

photo of Don Rothman
Don Rothman (Photo by Scott Rappaport)

A memorial event for Don Rothman, a longtime UC Santa Cruz writer and instructor, will take place on campus on Saturday, January 26. Rothman, whose UCSC career spanned nearly 40 years, died in his sleep in November at his Santa Cruz home.

The memorial will begin at 3 p.m. in the Music Center Recital Hall. Members of the campus community and general public are invited.

As the event is expected to be well attended, the campus is making arrangements to simulcast the memorial in the nearby Media Theater in case additional seating is needed. Doors to the Recital Hall will open at 2:30 that day.

"The memorial is being designed to celebrate Don's life, friendships, work, and spirit," said Paul Skenazy, a professor emeritus of literature, and a longtime friend and colleague of Rothman. "It will highlight some of the qualities that drew people to Don, and drew Don to explore subjects ranging from justice and beauty to Shakespeare."

Following the memorial, attendees will be invited to participate in a candlelight procession from the Recital Hall to Oakes College, where a reception will take place.

Speakers at the memorial will include his children, Dov and Naomi Rothman; UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal; and Oakes provost Kimberly Lau. Other faculty colleagues, alumni, and students will also speak as part of the program. After the scheduled speakers, there will be an "open mike" for others to speak about Rothman's impact on their work and life.

"We encourage attendees who want to share memories of Don to prepare written comments in advance," Skenazy said, adding that speakers are asked to limit the length of their comments to five or fewer minutes to allow time for others to also remember Rothman.

At the reception at Oakes, where Rothman was affiliated as a lecturer for his 39 years at UCSC, there will be memory books on hand for people to leave written comments for the Rothman family; a booth for video messages is also planned.

Parking will be available at no cost in the adjacent Performing Arts lots at UCSC.

For additional information, please email UCSC's Special Events Office at or phone 831 459-5003.