The Forum | Philanthropy

In Memoriam: Dr. Roger W. Haskell

February 20, 2018 by Michael B. Poliakoff

It is with a heavy heart we report the passing of one of ACTA’s dearest friends and supporters, Dr. Roger W. Haskell. A true servant of the people, Dr. Haskell had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Public Health Service. He brought much-needed care to many Native Americans living on Indian Reservations in the western US. After internship in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Haskell spent 25 years with the Public Health Service and he served as the director of the Department of Primary Care at the USPHS Hospital in Seattle, WA.

Dr. Haskell was awarded the USPHS Meritorious Service Medal twice in his life, once for developing an automated individual health data system for the entire Indian Health Service, and the other for developing methods for evaluating quality of medical care for individuals, as well as for community health programs. After concluding his career with the PHS, Dr. Haskell took up the agrarian lifestyle, retiring to a 140-acre farm in Central Oregon.

What this simple explanation of his career highlights cannot reveal is the tremendous depth of his compassion for the people under his care. During his tenure with the Public Health Service, Dr. Haskell witnessed and participated in many significant milestones, including the virtual elimination of tuberculosis, an 80-90 percent reduction in the rate of infant mortality, and a huge increase in average life expectancy for the inhabitants of Indian Reservations. It was these accomplishments, these evidences of real improvement in the lives of his patients, which gave Dr. Haskell the greatest satisfaction.

Dr. Haskell’s longstanding support for ACTA was also a matter of personal pride; he participated in many ACTA events, coming to ATHENA conferences and Merrill Award Galas, salon dinners, and donor meetings. He showed his dedication and appreciation for ACTA in countless ways. Dr. Haskell had a deep passion for American history and understood the important role that American higher education plays in forming the next generation of leaders and public servants. It was his firm belief and desire that the traditional hallmarks of the university should not pass away, and that the study of Western Civilization should not fade from the halls of academe.

He is survived by his wife, Edna, and their family. His generosity and dedication to the cause of higher education reform will be greatly missed by ACTA, but his personal kindness, compassion, and congeniality will be greatly missed by all. Rest in peace, Dr. Haskell. Because your life’s work so enriched the world, we remember you, in the words of the Roman poet Horace, as one who left a memorial more enduring than any monument of bronze that mortal hand could devise.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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