The Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era is saddened to report the news that long-time SHGAPE member Dr. Jacob H. Dorn, professor emeritus at Wright State University, passed away on September 5th at the age of 77. We are sharing excerpts from an obituary, penned by his department chair and sent to us by his daughter, Betsy Lublin, also a professor of history at Wright State.
Jake retired in June 2012, after an extraordinary career of 47 years of teaching, scholarship, and service at Wright State and in the wider community. He obtained his PhD. from the University of Oregon at the remarkably young age of 25. Shortly thereafter, he began teaching at what was then the Dayton campus of Ohio State and Miami Universities in 1965. He joined the faculty full time when the university became independent, and rose to the rank of full Professor by 1974. He taught American history, and specialized in social, intellectual and religious history, particularly in the Progressive Era. In 1972 he founded, and was the director for the next fifteen years, of the university's Honors Program. Generations of students considered him an outstanding teacher and mentor. He was also an accomplished scholar. Jake was the author of Washington Gladden: Prophet of the Social Gospel (Ohio State University, 1967), just reprinted in paperback. He and his colleagues Carl M. Becker and Paul G. Merriam compiled A Bibliography of Sources for Dayton, Ohio, 1850-1950 (1971), funded by the National Science Foundation. He was the editor of a collection of essays, Socialism and Christianity in early 20th Century America (Greenwood Press, 1998). He was also the author of numerous articles, contributions and book reviews in a variety of scholarly journals and edited collections.
Jake believed strongly in selfless service to the university, the profession, and the wider community. He was deeply involved with the Ohio Academy of History, serving two terms as president and on virtually every committee. He was particularly active in the Dayton Council
on World Affairs (DCOWA), served as a first reader with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was involved with the National Council on U.S./Arab Relations. He served on the board of the American Baptist Historical Society, with the Ohio Board for United Ministries in Higher Education, Baptist Historical Society, with the Ohio Board for United Ministries in Higher Education, and with many, many other organizations. He gave of his time freely for innumerable presentations to community groups large and small.
Memorial contributions be made to the Jacob H. Dorn Scholarship Fund. Checks made out to the Wright State University Foundation may be sent to the attention of Sara Woodhull, Wright State University Foundation, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton OH 45435 with a notation that they should be directed to the Dorn fund.