It was with great sadness that Grinnell College informs faculty, students and staff that John Mohan, friend, colleague, and beloved professor of Russian, passed away unexpectedly Saturday evening, April 5, 2003. Cause of death was heart failure. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with John's wife, Joan, his sons John Paul and Joseph and the rest of his family, colleagues, and with his many, many students, past and present.
"John was the epitome of a fine liberal arts college professor with his eye on the overall education and well-being of his student," said Russell K. Osgood, president of Grinnell College. "He had a deep understanding of the human family and a love for beauty in all of its forms."
John Mohan joined the faculty at Grinnell College in 1973. John received his B.S. from Mount St. Mary's College, an M.A. from Middlebury College, and the Ph.D. from Cornell University. A full professor since 1991, John helped establish the Russian Department in the early 70's, and for the last 29 years was widely known for his service to the College and profession, knowledge of Russian literature and culture, humanistic values, excellence in teaching and mentoring, dedication to students, and his kindness and keen wit.
An accomplished scholar, John wrote on a number of topics in the field of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature. He served the college with great dedication in many capacities-as Russian Department chair for many years, and most recently as chair of the Humanities Division and member of Executive Council. He also was an active advocate of Russian studies in the U.S., and served for almost a decade on the Board of Amercian Council of Teachers of Russian. John taught all levels of Russian and literature in translation, and was legendary for his courses on Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. John created and nurtured a network of Russian Department alumni, and remained close to many of his former students over the years. John will be missed by his family, friends, colleagues and students, as well as the entire Grinnell community.