Arcadia Honors Dr. Wes Rose’s Legacy with Endowed Award

By Andrea Walls | April 18, 2019

Kelly Rose, wife of Dr. Wes Rose, speaks at the event.

On April 6, Arcadia faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends joined members of the Rose family and associates of the ALS Association in Grey Towers Castle for a special evening to celebrate the life of Dr. R. Wesley Rose (1972-2018), associate professor of Biology, and to benefit the R. Wesley Rose Fund to Support Undergraduate Research.  

At the time of the event, the Arcadia and surrounding community joined with the Rose family to raise  more than $17,000 to establish The R. Wesley Rose Fund. This fund will facilitate student research opportunities in the sciences as a tribute to Dr. Rose’s boundless pursuit of knowledge, commitment to his students, and enthusiasm for undergraduate exploration. Event attendees raised an additional $10,675 through individual gifts and a silent auction to endow the fund.

Throughout the evening, Rose family members and friends, along with Biology Department faculty, alumni, students, and members of the ALS Association shared cherished memories of working alongside their mentor and friend, recalling the impact Dr. Rose made at Arcadia.  

“We hope that this fund will enable future generations of Arcadia undergraduates to carry on work in the sciences and, in that way, honor his legacy,” said Dr. Naomi Phillips, associate professor and chair of Biology.

A beloved professor and accomplished scholar, Dr. Rose taught Cell Biology, Immunology, Microbiology, and Senior Seminar courses. Arcadia presented him with the Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2011. Dr. Rose continued the legacy of teaching set by his father, Dr. Raymond W. Rose Jr., who taught Biology at Arcadia for nearly four decades before retiring in 2007.

“Doing research under his guidance, he taught me not only about science but also how to persevere even in times of great struggle,” shared Lauren Jolley ’16.

Dr. Rose was also a dedicated advocate for those diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as he battled the progressive neurological disease for 13 years. Driven by his passion for scientific exploration, Dr. Rose turned his journey with ALS into a tireless quest for deeper understanding.

Jennifer Arnold ’11, ’14DPT expressed the profound influence Dr. Rose had on all who knew him.

“I don’t think I could ever fully express the positive effect knowing Dr. Rose had on my life and the lives of hundreds of other students just like me,” said Arnold. “I know that I will always remember him and pass on his advice: ‘You only get one life to live. Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity.’”

The R. Wesley Rose Fund will honor Dr. Rose’s legacy in perpetuity, ensuring future Arcadia students, who follow in his footsteps, will carry on his courage and resilience through academic inquiry.

After the event, an anonymous donor stepped forward with a gift that will fund two undergraduate research assistants in the Biology Department this summer. This gift allows the purpose of the R. Wesley Rose Fund to be realized right away while the endowment fund builds award dollars for 2020-21.  

Make a gift to The R. Wesley Rose Fund in memory of Dr. Rose’s many contributions to Arcadia at