Born: September 10, 1940
Died: August 16, 2010

Tadahisa (Tad) Kuroda was born in New York, son of Ambassador Otoshiro Kuroda and Meiko Yamada Kuroda. His father had served in the Japanese diplomatic corps. During World War II the family was in Japan but in 1948 returned to America, settling in Philadelphia. Tad graduated from Central High School, Philadelphia.

At Yale Tad was a member of Branford College. He rose to become chief aide, served on the college council, was sports editor of Tower Bulletin and played on Branford's baseball, basketball, volleyball and touch football teams. He was a member of the Yale Political Union, on our Class Gift Executive Committee and a Senior Advisory Board member.

Tad was a history major, a ranking scholar and on Dean's List. After graduation he pursued his love of history, earning his master's degree and doctorate at Columbia.

He then taught at Mount Vernon Junior College in Washington, D.C., before joining the faculty of Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York in 1970. During his distinguished 36 year career at Skidmore, Tad was a highly respected member of the American History Department. He held numerous faculty positions rising to become the David H. Porter Professor of History and Chair of the Department. He also served as Associate Dean of the college faculty. Tad focused on early American history and was an expert on the U.S. Electoral College. He had a particular interest in the U.S. Constitution, having published "Origins of the Twelfth Amendment." His impact was broad, as demonstrated by the establishment of the Tadahisa Kuroda Exhibition Fund for the Tang Museum, his selection for the Ralph A. Ciancio Prize for Excellence in Teaching, the launching of the Kuroda Symposium in Early American Politics and Culture, his selection as a Moseley Lecturer and his being named the first incumbent of the David H. Porter Chair at Skidmore College.

After his retirement Tad and his wife Akiko, whom he married in 1965, moved to Potomac Falls, Virginia. He then plunged into an active second career in promoting education and the teaching of history. He joined the National Council for History Education, where he served as the chairman of the Gagnon Prize Committee and was unanimously elected to the advisory board by the organization's trustees. He was also active with the American Institute for History Education, traveling around the United States helping schools develop their history education programs.

Tad was a lifelong fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and immensely enjoyed bluegrass and folk music, playing guitar, gardening, travel, home renovation, gourmet foods and spending time with his family and grandchildren.

Tad is survived by his wife Akiko, and their two children, Stephanie Kuroda of Herndon, Virginia, and Timothy, a 1990 Yale graduate, who lives in Huntington, Long Island and is with IBM in New York City. Tad and Akiko had 3 grandchildren, Drew, Katy and Tad.

In our 40th Reunion Class Book in 2002 Tad reminisced that his days at Yale and at Central High School still mattered to him: "I certainly learned a lot about academic life, history, and my place in American society, and what I learned set me on a path to finding out who I was and what I could be. I have been very fortunate to have married Akiko in 1965, and to have children, like Stephanie and Timothy, and friends, like Derick January and Martin Kaminsky (even though I do not see them often enough), and a career as a college professor at a fine place like Skidmore College with great colleagues and students. In the midst of troubling times, I find comfort and peace in the people that I care about and the young men and women I see around me at Skidmore every day."

A Memorial Service was held at Skidmore on September 25, 2010, and classmate Derick January attended and spoke. He described the ceremony as "a gathering, a coming together of people who were there not because they had to be there, but because they wanted to be there. The gathering was sad, but also uplifting and positive."

January spoke of the standards Tad "set for all of us. Those standards are: true love, loyalty and affection for family, colleagues and friends; balance in combining work, family and participation in the life and culture of one's homeland; a rigorous investigation of facts and a rational and fair exchange of ideas; a boundless curiosity; a sharing of one's knowledge and experience with others; and a deep and abiding affection for the activities of one's society and its people, such as baseball (the Phillies!), the acoustic guitar, and country and bluegrass music (Patty Loveless!)."

"Tad had a way," January observed, "of conferring dignity on those he talked with. He would not summarily reject a statement or opinion, but would listen to the other person first, pause to consider what had been said to him, and then respond with a thoughtful answer. I'm sure all of you have been involved in a discussion where you can tell the other person is not listening to or thinking about what you are saying, but is only waiting for you to finish talking so that he or she can say what they have already formulated. Of course, by making those he spoke with equals in the discussion, Tad not only conferred dignity on them, but also on himself."

His department colleague Prof. Ron Seyb also lauded Tad as "peaceful, generous and just."

Tad was, January concluded, an "extraordinary human being, whose passing has left a black hole in our present world of prancing charlatans for whom strut and spectacle are all and substance is nothing. It is the silencing of his voice, reaffirming prudence, balance and restraint in the face of fraudulent posturing, which is our greatest loss."

The family suggested that donations may be made to the Kuroda Symposium Fund at Skidmore College.