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Memorial Tributes, Volume 12
to this entry in “Who’s Who,” the prank was uncovered.
Having a remarkable facility with language, Rutherford Aris once published a technical paper written entirely in Latin, and throughout his life he wrote delightful poetry providing enjoyment for friends and colleagues. For more than 25 years Aris composed clever and hilarious poems to “roast” each year’s Lacey Lecturer at Caltech. As a result of his intense interest in medieval manuscripts, he became a superb calligrapher who encouraged this art in others. In 1964, Aris founded a series of departmental seminars having eclectic themes from all fields in order to further an appreciation of the arts in his engineering students and colleagues. This popular seminar series continues today with financial support from alumni.
A devout Christian, Rutherford Aris was an exemplary gentleman and scholar who stimulated the best professional and personal qualities in his students and colleagues. His former students have attained high positions in industry and distinguished professorships at leading universities in this country and abroad, but Aris’s values of high moral and ethical standards and his practice of helping others are the most important lessons he taught.
Aris is survived by his wife of 47 years, Claire Holman Aris; brother, John (Ursula); sisters, Margaret Boyt (Dennis) and Dorothy Slater (Thomas); brother-in-law, Charles Holman (Gloria); special niece, Trea Cannoy, and grand nephews, Jacob and Brendon; as well as several other nieces and nephews.