Beloved Teacher and Adviser

It was with great sadness that we learned that our dear friend and colleague, Rae Moses, passed away on Thursday, February 7th.

Those of us who knew Rae as a colleague in the department and as a friend will always remember her as a remarkable woman in more ways than can be listed here. She was a beloved teacher and adviser, and brought a unique warmth and energy to our community of linguists at Northwestern University.

To share the memories of Rae, we launched this message board. Please feel free to leave a message for Rae, her family and friends.

8 thoughts on “Beloved Teacher and Adviser

  1. It is impossible for me to recall my years at Northwestern without thinking of Rae. She was the first faculty member I met when I was considering a doctorate in Linguistics, an inspiring professor after I enrolled, a supportive member of my dissertation committee, and–when I joined the Linguistics faculty after completing my degree–a wonderful colleague. Our conversations throughout the years, whether personal or professional, were always wide-ranging and memorable. She even hosted my baby shower–to which, in typical egalitarian fashion, she invited both male and female faculty and graduate students. My sympathy to Leon, Megan, and their family. Rae will be dearly missed and long remembered.

  2. My condolences to Rae’s family. I worked with Rae and Arlene Kaplan Daniels as an assistant administrator in the Program on Women’s Studies in 1993. They were models of feminist academic inspiration to me, as I was applying to graduate schools at the time. I knew then (and how much more so now, twenty years later) just how much Rae’s wit, tenacity, brilliance, and generosity of spirit buoyed so many women at Northwestern and beyond. I am grateful to have known her.

  3. Nearly 30 years since graduating from Northwestern, I still remember Professor Moses’ Psycholinguistics class. I remember her incredibly kind and supportive comments on my work. I remember her style of teaching that felt like a casual, collegial discussion in a coffee house rather than a lecture in a classroom. Her welcoming attitude and casual demeanor was a welcome respite from the rest of life at NU. A handful of professors remain in my memories of NU, and she is definitely one of them for all these reasons. May she rest in peace.

  4. I remember Rae with great fondness; she was the human center that bound the department together for myself, and for many others. She had a great sense of humor, loved to laugh, and was willing to laugh at herself when the situation called for it. Dropping by Rae’s office just to chat was something I did frequently in my (overly) long tenure in the PhD program because just talking to Rae added something positive to any day.

    Beyond all this, I owe my degree to Rae. After the death of Abraham Demoz, who had been my advisor and my long struggle with sitting down to write, Rae stepped in as the new chair of my committee and very gently but very strictly got me focused and producing, and eventually finishing my dissertation. I try to remember how she did this now when I deal with students who are struggling; she was a great role model of how to be a humane scholar.

    My deepest condolences to Leon, to all of Rae’s family. She will be missed.

  5. I was Rae’s cardiologist for many years. While I can’t remember exactly how we met she handled the last tough few years with grace and dignity. She put up with me no matter how crotchety I might be and we thoroughly enjoyed conversations that often veered far from the appointment’s agenda. I will miss her greatly.

  6. Rae was one of the first faculty members I met when I came to Northwestern. Her genuine interest in students and the world around her was something to behold. Her support of the Women’s Residential College was particularly important. Her warm smile, her care of others and her friendship was a gift in my life and the lives of many others. Peggy Barr

  7. I joined the Department of Linguistic faculty in 1976 as an assistant professor, but before I even arrived Rae had become a wonderful presence. For junior faculty members she was a role model and a trusted collegue. Like many others at Northwestern, I owe Rae a lot for helping me grow professionally and personally. Her enthusiasm for languages and linguistic was infectious and inspired students and colleagues alike, and she set a very high standard for the rest of us when it comes to being a decent, nurturing human being. It’s been a few years since I saw Rae, but I have often thought of her over the years as someone worth emulating. Along with her family and friends, her passing is a sad event for me.


    Jim Wertsch, Washington University in St. Louis

  8. I am so sad to hear about Rae. She was always incredibly kind to me. She was always interested in the progress I was making in my postdoc. I loved hearing her stories about what it was like to be a female in academia as she was starting to work at Northwestern. She opened her home to me and Bryan and when she found out that we liked sailing she and Leon invited us several times to their boat. This picture is how I will always remember her: kind, smart, a bit sassy and full of life. It was taken in summer 2005 on lake Michigan.

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