Sad News: Rick Jarow

February 8, 2024

Dear All,

I am writing to share the sad news that Rick Jarow, Emeritus Professor of Religion, has died. Professor Jarow taught at Vassar from 1994 to 2022 and was known for his exceptional commitment to transformation in how we think about work and our lives. He inspired countless students with his approach to teaching, which was deeply philosophical and spiritual, with courses such as Across Religious Boundaries: Understanding Differences; Religion and Contemplative Consciousness; and Asian Healing Traditions. Professor Jarow is survived by his two children, Oshan and Maika.

At Vassar, Professor Jarow also participated in and chaired the Carolyn Grant ’36 Endowment Committee on embodied learning and the mythic imagination. He was instrumental in widening the reach of the concept of embodied learning in the curriculum and opening up the grant to applications from staff as well as faculty. He first came to Vassar when he was a graduate student at Columbia University to teach a small group of faculty Sanskrit, and his engagement with the college grew from that first project. Throughout his time at Vassar, not only his students, but also colleagues and friends, learned from his in-depth study in eastern and western spiritual traditions, mythology, astrology, and shamanism. Professor Jarow’s book, The Alchemy of Abundance, took a holistic approach to exploring and understanding group processes, work that sought to nurture community, creativity, and personal transformation. He most recently published a book with Oxford called The Cloud of Longing, a translation and commentary on the great Sanskrit poem called Meghaduta. Professor Jarow was always generous with, and open about, sharing the effects that his study and practice had on his way of life.

Our hearts go out to the many people whom Professor Jarow touched, inspired, and helped in his years on the Vassar faculty and beyond.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, President
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604