In Memoriam: Antonio Romano, Former CLAS Dean

Antonio Romano, biologist and former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who died on January 2, 2018.

Antonio Romano, biologist and former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, who died on January 2, 2018.

Antonio Romano, biologist and former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, died on January 2, 2018 at the age of 88.

“Tony was a wonderful person – a fine scholar, a principled administrator, a strong member of his community, and, along with his wife Jean, a great supporter of UConn,” says Interim Provost Jeremy Teitelbaum. “I will never forget him, and I know that his memory will live on among his many friends and colleagues here at the University and in the wider community.”

Romano attended Rutgers University on a scholarship, receiving a BSc in 1949. He continued at Rutgers under Dr. Selman Waksman of streptomycin fame, and earned a Ph.D. in microbial biochemistry in 1952. He then served in the Public Health Service at the Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, later moving to the University of Cincinnati where he became head of biological sciences. His last move was to the University of Connecticut in 1971, where he taught as professor of biology, later acted as department head, and completed his career goals as dean of CLAS from 1992-1995.

During those years, Romano was a visiting fellow at the University of Leicester, U.K., in 1967-68, working with Sir Hans Kornberg. He also did research with Kornberg at Cambridge University in 1979. In 1989, he spent a year as a visiting scholar in the Department of Biology at the University of San Diego, Calif.

His skill at designing research projects took him to Washington, D.C., for a year as Program Director of Cell Biology for the National Science Foundation. Romano then became the U.S. Representative to NATO as a panel member on Collaborative Research Grants issued by that organization.

Over his long career, Romano’s research never stopped. His publications include chapters in books, monographs, scientific papers, and journal articles. His devotion to science led to an enormous library that he kept updated and well read.

Romano was passionate about the value of a quality education for all. He believed in the values of hard work and helping others. They were passed on to his children and he lived by them himself.

“Tony’s service to our College reflected his values of access to education,” says CLAS Interim Dean Davita Silfen Glasberg. “He led the College well and will be sorely missed.”

Calling hours will be held at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St. (Rte 195), Willimantic, Conn., on Saturday, January 13, 2018, from 4-6 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Antonio H. and Marjorie J. Romano Graduate Fellowship Fund. Gifts also may be sent by mail to The University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc. 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, CT 06269, with the designation #31135.

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