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Memoir

Rhoads Murphey
Regents' Proceedings 236

Rhoads Murphey, professor of history, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 1990. He is an active and productive scholar of international renown.

Professor Murphey was awarded his A.B. degree magna cum laude in history from Harvard College in 1941. He received his M.A. degree in history from Harvard University in 1942, and after wartime service with the Friends Ambulance Unit in China from 1942-46, received his M.A. degree in international and regional studies and his Ph.D. degree in Far Eastern history and geography from Harvard University in 1948 and 1950, respectively. Professor Murphey taught Asian studies and geography at the University of Washington from 1952-64. In 1964, he accepted an appointment as professor of Asian studies and geography at the University of Michigan. His title was changed to professor of history in 1982.

Professor Murphey has written or co-authored a dozen books on the history and geography of China and South Asia. He is especially well known for his contributions to the modern history of urbanization in the region, through such books as Shanghai: Key to Modem China (1953) and The Outsiders: Westerners in India and China (1977), the latter of which won an award for best book of the year by the University of Michigan Press. Professor Murphey is an outstanding teacher and counsellor in both the history and the Asian studies programs. He has served the University in many capacities, most notably as director of the Center for Chinese Studies and the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies. In 1974, he was awarded the University's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award.

His outstanding contributions to the Association for Asian Studies include having been editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, having served for many years as executive director of the association, and in 1987-88 as its president. The Regents now salute this distinguished historian for his dedication by naming Rhoads Murphey Professor Emeritus of History.