Students and staff at Montgomery College are mourning the loss of a beloved educator, Eric Grosse, who was struck and killed last Thursday while jogging in Bethesda, Maryland.
The 74-year-old was a part-time English professor at the college’s Rockville campus. His colleagues said he’ll be remembered for his commitment to his students and colleagues.
“We’ve lost wisdom and an innovative, compassionate thinker,” Elizabeth Benton, the interim dean of English and Reading, said. “He was an expert educator.”
There was no mistaking the love Grosse had for teaching. He was a former dean who came out of retirement in 2015 to join the English department as a part-time faculty member.
Benton said Grosse was a tireless advocate for his students and his colleagues. And it’s no surprise that she says the man who taught professional writing had a way with words.
“His candor, his passion. He throws strikes, I guess if I can say that, just very nice to have as a member of the teaching team that tells you what he thinks,” she said.
According to investigators, Grosse was killed crossing the intersection of Tuckerman Lane and Kings Riding Way when he was hit by a driver, who remained on the scene. It's unclear if Grosse had activated the crossing signal before crossing the road.
His death has stunned students and staff on the college’s Rockville campus, where he was scheduled to teach Monday night.
Even with the semester drawing to a close, Benton said Grosse wasn’t slowing down. This summer, he was going to work with students who were struggling to finish the semester on time.
“He had an air about him of commitment and care,” she said. “He is truly committed to the art of teaching and to the mission of helping students and guiding students to graduate.”
On Monday night, students in Grosse’s writing class were still processing his death, but Benton says they’re determined to forge ahead.
“A lot of shock, a lot of tears, but a commitment to their work,” she said.
It’s a commitment shown to them by their treasured professor who wanted nothing more than to see them succeed.