E.A. Trabant, 92, served as UD president for 2 decades


    Edward Arthur Trabant, the 22nd and 24th president of the University of Delaware, died Friday, July 20, at the Cokesbury Village Health Care Center in Hockessin, Del., after a brief illness. He was 92.

    E.A. Trabant photo from 1989. University of Delaware Archives.

    Trabant’s 19-year, first term, from 1968-1987, was one of the longest presidencies at a major university in modern times.

    During that time, undergraduate enrollment rose from less than 7,500 to more than 15,000, new academic programs were developed and the physical campus grew with the addition of residence halls, classrooms and research buildings.

    He returned to the presidency in 1988, after the resignation of his successor. At the conclusion of his second term, in 1990, the University Board of Trustees, named him president emeritus.

    Trabant was born in Los Angeles. A 1941 graduate of Occidental College, he received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics in 1947 from the California Institute of Technology.

    He held positions at Purdue University, State University of New York at Buffalo and Georgia Tech before becoming UD president.

    Trabant is survived by his wife of 68 years, Jeraldine Merlyn Shanessy Trabant, and their three daughters, Jeri, Arta and Amanda Marie.


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