Guenter Herbert Rose (1935–2022)

To faculty and staff,

It is my sad duty to inform the Bowdoin community of the passing of Guenter H. Rose, associate professor of psychology and psychobiology emeritus, on January 12, 2022, in Vista, California, after a long battle with Lewy body dementia.  

Guenter Rose was born on May 6, 1935, in Englewood, New Jersey. He grew up in Attleboro, Massachusetts, and graduated from Attleboro High School. He earned a BS degree cum laude from Tufts University in behavioral biology and ethology in 1958, an ScM in 1960 from Brown University in experimental child psychology, and a PhD in physiological psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1965. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Brain Institute at UCLA, Guenter joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in Omaha and as a member of the graduate faculty at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, where he continued his research into the complex relationships between developmental biology of the brain and behavior. He returned to UCLA in the early 1970s as a research psychologist and as an associate professor of psychiatry. 

In 1976 Guenter accepted a position as assistant professor of psychology at Bowdoin, where his interest in the nexus of psychology and biology created opportunities for interdisciplinary research and teaching. This led to the establishment at the College of a concentration in psychobiology (the forerunner to the neuroscience program). He was promoted to associate professor in 1981 and chaired the psychology department. He was the author or coauthor of numerous articles on the electrocortical responses of the brain and spinal cord to visual and auditory stimuli in laboratory animals. In addition to his publications, Guenter presented his research as an invited panelist and lecturer and at national and international conferences. He was a popular teacher at Bowdoin, and a number of his students elected to pursue careers in psychology and neuroscience. He became interested in the field of medical anthropology in the 1980s and received a Fulbright grant to study traditional healers in Nepal and Sri Lanka and learn about Ayurvedic medicine. He retired in 1995 as associate professor of psychology and psychobiology emeritus. 

Guenter’s curiosity and broad interests led him to launch a business that offered tours of Nepal.  He operated a bed-and-breakfast (the Samuel Newman House) where Chamberlain Hall now stands. He collected traditional sculptures and masks from Africa and South Asia, and he was knowledgeable about a wide range of antiques. In recent years he lived in Michigan, London, Florida, and California. 

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Deborah J. Rose, his second wife, Sonya O. Rose, a son, Dana C. Rose, and his stepson, Marc Orleans. He is survived by two sons, Mark Rose (and his wife, Debbie) and Shawn Rose (and his wife, Jackie); a daughter, Jennifer R. Villafana Benitez (and her husband, Nestor); a sister, Innes Rose Brady (and her husband, Terrance); a stepdaughter, Laura Orleans-York (and her husband, Charlie); eleven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. 

A memorial service on Zoom will be announced at a later date. Those wishing to participate in the celebration of life may contact Guenter’s son Mark Rose at

We share with Guenter’s family and friends a deep sense of loss at his passing, and we celebrate his lifelong love of learning and his generosity of spirit.