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TAKOMA PARK, Md.: Washington Adventist University (WAU) students, faculty, and staff are mourning the August 9 death of Joseph Gurubatham, at the age of 74. He was a former vice president of Academic Affairs for WAU, which was known as Columbia Union College at the time, and had just weeks ago retired from his position as senior vice president at the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools in Washington, D.C.
Gurubatham’s career included serving as president of Griggs University, a long-distance educational institution, where he specialized in areas of personnel management; salary and wage administration; program planning and evaluation (PERT); systems theory; leadership theory; and behavior and communication. He also served in a variety of leadership positions in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“This is a tremendous loss for Washington Adventist University and for all of the educational institutions that Dr. Joseph Gurubatham enhanced with his strong spirit and management skills,” said Weymouth Spence, president of WAU. “The Gurubatham family has contributed a combined 100 years of service to this university alone, and for that we are grateful.”
Joseph Gurubatham’s wife, Juanita, also served WAU for more than 25 years between 1981 and 2007. She was initially a faculty member of Allied Health, and later served as associate vice president of Academic Affairs. Gladstone, Gurubatham’s brother, founded the university’s adult evening program more than 30 years ago and was, at the time of his death last December, a psychology professor and WAU’s longest-serving faculty member with 50 years of service.
Gurubatham earned his doctorate in education (administration and management) from Catholic University of America, and his master’s degree in business administration from Pennsylvania State University. He was an alumnus of Washington Adventist University, having earned his bachelor’s degree in office administration and business education.
A memorial service will be held at Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church at a date to be determined. Anyone who wishes to send a note or a card expressing condolences and support to Gurubatham’s wife, Juanita, and their sons Eric and Kevin, should address them to: Dr. Juanita Gurubatham, 15226 Baughman Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20906.