Share

Rider mourns the loss of Dean Emeritus Joe Nadeau

Nadeau was a member of the Rider community for more than 36 years, including 10 years as dean
06/30/2015

Joseph Edward Nadeau, dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts, Education, and Sciences and a member of the Rider community for more than 36 years, passed away on June 26, 2015.

Joe came to Rider in 1971 as an assistant professor of geology. He became dean in 1998, a role he excelled in until his retirement in 2008. He taught geology, geochemistry and oceanography while overseeing about 25 programs during his 10 years as dean. Keen to support the professional development of his staff, Joe served as a mentor to his team and was considered a role model for incoming deans. Faculty, staff and particularly students knew him for his easygoing and accessible manner, as well as his passion for education and science.

"Joe was always in early and his door always open," said Jim Riggs, a professor of immunology who has taught at Rider since 1991. "He loved to chat and to catch up on the latest news. He was a role model for how to balance work and fun. It was wonderful to be mentored by someone who became such a good friend."

Joe earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and his doctorate from Washington State University, all in geology. A geochemist, he authored or co-authored more than 100 publications in his areas of research and served on many committees at Rider while working his way up from assistant professor to professor and then from associate dean to dean.

An inveterate traveler who loved music and photography, Joe spent last June with family and friends in the Grand Canyon on his 40th trip down the Colorado River. His geological interests also brought him to Honduras, Bermuda and Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he guest-taught in the 1970s. On recreational trips, he also explored Mexico, Peru, Tahiti and other far-flung places.

For more than 25 years, Joe served as a member of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation’s evaluation panel and more recently as the director of its newly formed private fundraising corporation. The panel reviews hundreds of applications annually to award scholarships to college students pursuing research careers in science, mathematics and engineering.

Joe is survived by his wife, Rosemary; daughter Jan and her husband, Volker Kern; daughter Denise and her husband, Stoffel Probasco; sisters Julie LeBlanc and Jeanne Stovall; grandchildren Leila and Lucas Probasco; and sister-in-law Sharon Hunt.

At Joe's request, no formal services will be held, but a memorial celebration will take place at a later date.