Dr. Robert G. Shedd, a retired University of Maryland Baltimore County professor who was the first chairman of its division of arts and humanities, died Sunday of emphysema at his home in Ten Hills. He was 72.
Dr. Shedd retired in 1983 at UMBC, where in 1966 he established the arts and humanities division on the new campus and was a professor of English and humanities. He was for many years the chief reader in English for the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, N.J.
He began his academic career at the University of Michigan in 1946 as a teaching fellow and was an instructor there from 1950 to 1952. In 1952 he joined the faculty of Ohio State University, Lakewood Campus, where he was an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor in the English department.
He was born and reared in Detroit, where in 1918 his father established the Shedd-Bartush Co., producers of Shedd's margarine.
The son attended public schools there and earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1942 at the University of Michigan. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, he received an Avery Hopwood prize, awarded to students who excel in dramatic and fiction writing.
The plays that earned him the award were performed at Michigan in 1948.
He served in Navy Intelligence in the Pacific theater during World War II and was discharged in 1945 a second lieutenant.
He returned to the University of Michigan's graduate school and was awarded a master's of arts and a doctorate in philosophy in 1952.
He co-authored with Haskell Block "Masters of Modern Drama," an anthology of 45 plays published by Random House in 1962. He wrote many articles for academic journals.
He enjoyed traveling and gardening, and retained a great affection for the theater.
"He was an avid first-nighter," recalled his wife of 50 years, the former Jane Baits of Grosse Point, Mich. "We've been in theaters from Canada to New York and London."
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. today at the UMBC Library, 5401 Wilkens Ave., Catonsville.
In addition to his wife, his survivors are a son, Robert D. Shedd of Denver; and two daughters, Wendy Jane Shedd of Baltimore and Meredith Shedd Driskel of Washington, D.C.
The family suggested that memorial contributions might be made to the University of Maryland Foundation, Robert G. Shedd Literary Award, c/o Alumni House, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, 5401 Wilkens Ave., Catonsville 21228.