Dr. Ram Singh was a caring, wonderful teacher who finished 34 years of teaching in 2001 when he died from cancer very prematurely at the age of 61; his wife, Usha, and four children survived him. He originally had come to the United States on a Fullbright Scholarship to study at Columbia University where he received a Ph.D. and MSW in social work.
During the last 13 years of his career he taught in the School of Social Work at Grand Valley State University. From the moment of his arrival at Grand Valley and the Grand Rapids community, his presence and his person were living examples of his humanity. Dr. Singh’s quest for knowledge, personal growth, and learning were thirsts he did not seek to quench. He was forever a teacher and a student, and he unselfishly shared his zest, vision and enthusiasm with others. The impressions made by Dr. Singh upon those who knew him were many, and without exception, included compassion, kindness, respect, and “unconditional positive regard.” In a positive affirming manner, Ram Singh possessed the ability to make one believe daunting tasks were undaunting and the impossible was indeed possible.
He was devoted to his work and was respected by peers and students. He was very well read and was an expert in philosophy, Indian religions, and social work. He gave as many as 10 papers a year around the country and the world, mostly on topics of social work or Indian religions. He usually returned to his native India at least once a year to see family and friends. He had also hired a part-time social worker to work in a village of “untouchables”. He brought electricity to that village, a school and other kinds of community organizations.
This scholarship was created in Dr. Ram Singh’s memory and in honor of his loving wife.