Monday, November 20, 2017
News Roundup

Eckerd professor, Navy Reserve Rear Adm. Dudley DeGroot dies at 85

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Students at Eckerd College knew Dudley DeGroot as the brick-shaped anthropology professor who pedaled a bicycle to his book-crammed office, where he worked on a hand-carved wooden stool he had picked up in Suriname.

Triton basketball players noted his near-prefect attendance at games, where he yelled pithy encouragements from the bleachers. Others had known him variously as a small-town mayor; or as a rear admiral in the Navy Reserve, recalled to active duty during two wars; or an adviser to the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton. Because the military continued to use Dr. DeGroot in intelligence work through the first Gulf War, much of what he did remains hidden.

Dr. DeGroot, an early influence on Florida Presbyterian College (now Eckerd) who helped shape the school's anthropology and sociology curriculum and created its management program, died Dec. 7 after an extended illness. He was 85.

"Dudley knew more about more subjects than anyone I have ever known in my life," Carolyn Johnston, an American studies professor at Eckerd, told friends and family who gathered Saturday at Westminster Suncoast. "He was not only a mayor, a football player, an anthropologist — he started the management department, the sociology department. He was a spy, he was James Bond. He was fluent in Arabic. We don't even know half of the things he was doing."

His work took him to underdeveloped countries; what he saw there worried him. In a 1969 guest column for the Times, he correctly warned that world population (then at 3 billion) would double by 2000, as food supplies dwindled. As preventive measures, Dr. DeGroot recommended sweeping birth control programs. "If this proposal sounds a bit too logical and sensible, it probably is," Dr. DeGroot wrote.

Dudley Edward DeGroot was born in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1927. He enlisted in the Navy at 17 and served on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II. The association with the Navy and its Reserves lasted 42 years. After the war, he played football at West Virginia University and was chosen to the All East team in 1948. He earned a doctorate from Ohio State University and married Sally Stroup in the early 1950s. He was teaching at Rollins College in Winter Park when he decided to run for mayor of nearby Maitland, enlisting the help of a spunky homemaker named Paula Hawkins.

Hawkins, who would go on to the U.S. Senate, campaigned for Dr. DeGroot's then-controversial plan to replace septic tanks with a sewer system.

He joined what was then Florida Presbyterian College in 1964, where he taught a popular human sexuality course and the school's first management course, an outgrowth of his years moonlighting as a State Farm consultant.

In the mid 1970s, Dr. DeGroot assigned a class to identify and challenge a deeply held (or "emic") cultural belief. One group responded by creating a tribal society, culminating their project with the ritual slaughter of a chicken. "The next day, students called for Dudley's resignation," recalled former student Suzanne Dameron, now a Sarasota public relations consultant. "Our group was ostracized; nobody would talk to us for days."

Dr. DeGroot laughed off the furor his students had created, Dameron recalled. "He said, 'You were successful. You challenged their emic values.' "

He gave each student involved an A-plus.

Meanwhile, Dr. DeGroot kept a hand in the political world. For several years in the 1970s, he served as chairman of the Pinellas Association for Retarded Children. The military recalled him to active duty twice. He debriefed returning soldiers and prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. The government later sent him to an Arabic language immersion program.

"He spent a lot of time at MacDill (U.S. Central Command) during the Gulf (War) era," said Neil DeGroot, his son. "He has medals for we don't know what."

Dr. DeGroot's first marriage ended in divorce. In 1996 he married Jeanette Crane during a cruise stopover in Christchurch, New Zealand.

A few years ago, his family created a scholarship for student-athletes in Dr. DeGroot's name. Triton basketball players will remember him for the duration of the season with a commemorative "D" stitched onto their jerseys.

Comments
Sentencing phase continues in trial of Adam Matos, found guilty in murder of four

Sentencing phase continues in trial of Adam Matos, found guilty in murder of four

NEW PORT RICHEY — The sentencing phase begins Monday in the trial of Adam Matos, convicted Friday of first degree murder in the deaths of his ex-girlfriend, her parents and her new bofriend.Assistant State Attorney Chris LaBruzzo said prosecutors wil...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Trump calls out Marshawn Lynch, who sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for Mexico’s

Trump calls out Marshawn Lynch, who sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for Mexico’s

President Donald Trump on Monday added Marshawn Lynch to the list of sports figures he has criticized on Twitter.Lynch has been regularly sitting during the national anthem this season and did so again when his Oakland Raiders played the New England ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching

2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching.Lindsay Menz tells CNN that Franken placed his hand on her bottom as they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, two years into Fran...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

Park, Walk and Talk is St. Petersburg police chief’s signature program. Is it working?

ST. PETERSBURG — Police Chief Tony Holloway has made getting officers out of their cars, walking streets and talking to residents a key plank in his effort to improve relations between his department and the community.But three years into his adminis...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Take small bites.This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who don’t have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the year’s biggest cooking day.It’s the first thin...
Updated: 2 hours ago
3-2-1, BAM! Watch the Georgia Dome being imploded in downtown Atlanta

3-2-1, BAM! Watch the Georgia Dome being imploded in downtown Atlanta

ATLANTA — One of the nation’s largest domed stadiums has been destroyed in a scheduled implosion in downtown Atlanta. Nearly 5,000 pounds of explosives were on hand to blast the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to smithereens Monday at 7:30 a.m. People gather...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

Rick and Tom podcast: As Jameis Winston faces another accusation, Bucs win with Ryan Fitzpatrick

The Bucs win again behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and a defense that creates five turnovers against the Dolphins. In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the game, including the calm that Fitzpatrick has brought and ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Musicians unite at AMAs in wake of tumultuous year

Musicians unite at AMAs in wake of tumultuous year

The 2017 American Music Awards marked a night of unison, positive vibes and American pride as musicians spoke about coming together in a year dominated by natural disasters, violence and divisive politics.Kelly Clarkson and Pink kicked off the three-...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Charles Manson, cult leader and serial killer who terrified nation, dies at 83

Charles Manson, cult leader and serial killer who terrified nation, dies at 83

Charles Manson, the fiery-eyed cult master whose lemming-like followers staged a bloody two-night murder rampage in Los Angeles in 1969 that gripped the city with fear and shocked the nation, died on Sunday at a hospital in Kern County, California. H...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Forecast: Sunny, crisp conditions across Tampa Bay ahead of a soggy Thanksgiving

Forecast: Sunny, crisp conditions across Tampa Bay ahead of a soggy Thanksgiving

Crisp, refreshing and sunny fall-like conditions will remain over the Tampa Bay region before a pair of cold fronts move through the area during the week, culminating in a soggy Thanksgiving day.Temperatures are starting off around 10 degrees cooler ...
Updated: 5 hours ago