The Indiana University East community today mourns the loss of Frederick A. Grohsmeyer, the university’s first director from 1971-1975. Previously, Grohsmeyer was the director of the Eastern Indiana Center of Earlham College 1969 to 1971.
Grohsmeyer passed away July 21, 2012, at the age of 89. He was a resident of Richmond and lived at Friends Fellowship Community. He is survived by his wife, Sally, and his daughter, Margaret Anne Judson, and his grandchildren. His son, Erik, died in 1999. Through his service to IU East and the Richmond community, Grohsmeyer also leaves behind an extended family of colleagues, staff and friends.
“I had the good fortune to meet with Fred Grohsmeyer on a number of occasions. He kept in touch with IU East over the years, and I always found his perspective useful. As the first leader of the campus, we owe him a great debt of gratitude. He will be missed,” said IU East Interim Chancellor Larry Richards.
A native of Canton, Ohio, Grohsmeyer attended Kent State University before joining the U.S. Air Force during World War II. While a cadet, he attended Hamilton College in New York for courses in meteorology.
Grohsmeyer went on to attend DePauw University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He received his master’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. from Purdue University. Grohsmeyer first joined the faculty at Earlham College in 1949 as an assistant professor of psychology. He left the college to work as a psychologist for Rohrer, Hibler, & Replogle in Minneapolis and then Booz, Allen & Hamilton in Chicago. He returned to Richmond in 1958 to work as the executive director of the Earlham Institute for Executive Growth and was an associate professor of psychology. He was later the consultant and lecturer for the Earlham Institute for Executive Growth from 1964-1973.
While at Earlham College, Grohsmeyer was also the chairman of the Social Science Division and later held the rank as a professor of psychology. In 1969, Grohsmeyer was the dean of the General Studies Division and the director of the Eastern Indiana Center of Earlham College.
Grohsmeyer, along with Earlham College President Landrum Bolling and a group of community leaders, proposed to the Indiana University Board of Trustees the idea of a regional campus in Richmond. By October 1970, Indiana University took administrative control and started development of the new campus. Grohsmeyer was director when the IU Board of Trustees established IU East as a regional campus on July 1, 1971. He and Sally worked with local community and government leaders to raise funds to purchase the 225 acres where IU East is now situated and for its first building, Whitewater Hall.
While at IU East, Grohsmeyer was a professor of psychology from 1971 to 1991. He was the acting chair of Behavioral and Social Sciences from 1982-1983 and the chair from 1987-1989. When Grohsmeyer retired as director in 1975, he remained at IU East as a professor of psychology until 1991 and received the title of emeritus professor in 1992.
Grohsmeyer was a past board member of the Richmond Symphony, Richmond Rotary, We Americans, Inc., Eastern Indiana Community College, Inc., Yokefellow Institute, Wayne County Multiple Sclerosis Association, and the Mental Health Association. He was a member of the American Psychological Association, Indiana Psychological Association, International Association for the Advancement of Science, Society of Sigma XI, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution.
In the 40th anniversary edition of the alumni magazine, Radius, Grohsmeyer shared his memories on the early history of IU East including pitching in with faculty and staff to help move across town from the basement of Carpenter Hall at Earlham College to Whitewater Hall.
In fall 2011, Grohsmeyer said IU East was a community effort that involved many people. The establishment of IU East was a legacy he was proud of.
“This was something that was needed in the community and appreciated. It’s really gratifying to know that where you put your efforts and your ideas it has come to fruition,” Grohsmeyer said.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fred Grohsmeyer Psychology Scholarship, 2325 Chester Blvd., Richmond, IN 47374.