GVSU mourns death of film and video program founder

Barbara Roos
Barbara Roos also helped grow the School of Communications.

Grand Valley is mourning the death of Barbara Roos, founder of the university's film and video program and former associate director of the School of Communications. Roos died on April 6 at age 83.

Roos was one of the original faculty in the School of Communications and is being remembered by colleagues as a "positive and influential person" who played a key role in developing the school and programs.

Roos, who joined the academic world after an award-winning career in public broadcasting, remained active in producing documentaries and public service media for nonprofits. She founded the film and video program in 1975 when it was originally offered through Grand Valley’s William James College.

While at GVSU, she was a recipient of the GVSU 2001 Teaching Excellence in Arts & Humanities Award. Roos also developed a focus on the Middle East for her teaching and media projects, and led a group of students on a trip to Egypt.

She also was honored in 2013 with an Omicron Delta Kappa Faculty of Distinction recognition. She retired in 2015.

Roos was a civil rights activist in the 1960s and did a film narrated by John Lewis, according to her obituary. Her interests also included tracking and rehabilitating birds of prey.

Roos was a Grand Haven resident. A celebration of life is planned for noon May 22 at Robinson Township Park in Ottawa County.