Hugh Rosen, HIV/AIDS activist and professor

Hugh Rosen, a former Philadelphia-area professor and HIV/AIDS activist, died April 15 of prostate cancer.

He was 82. Rosen, a Philadelphia native, was instrumental in many HIV/AIDS-oriented initiatives in the 1970s-’80s. He was a former volunteer for ActionAIDS and co-ran the William Way LGBT Community Center’s first stress-management group for individuals with HIV/AIDS and a similar group for ActionAIDS Kevin Burns, executive director of ActionAIDS, said he remembered Rosen’s dedication to his position as co-facilitator for the stress-management group. “Hugh was a volunteer with ActionAIDS from 1989 through 1993. He volunteered as a support-group facilitator, providing encouragement to members of his group,” he said. Rosen was born Feb. 11, 1931, and served three years in the U.S. Army in the 1950s before he graduated with a degree in English Literature from St. Joseph’s University (formerly St. Joseph’s College). He also obtained degrees in social work, earning his master’s at the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate at Columbia University. Kevin Kuehlwein, Rosen’s closest friend of the past 30 years, said he was drawn to Rosen’s positive presence. “I was immediately impressed at how well-spoken and intelligent he was,” Kuehlwein said. “He was so generous of heart, a great listener, had not a mean bone in his body, very clear-thinking and loyal. He also had a great sense of humor.” Rosen taught at both Drexel and Hahnemann universities and headed the Mental Health Technology Program in the School of Allied Health Profession at Drexel. After he retired from Drexel in 1999, Rosen went on to receive his master’s in creative writing from Temple University. Kuehlwein said Rosen’s character could be correlated with his time in academia. “I think it says a lot that he was able to survive so long in academia, despite it sometimes being a place where office politics and political alliances determine everything.” Rosen had a diverse list of accomplishments, which included his service on the board of the Eromin Center in the 1970s and his acceptance of the Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1989. He was also an active member of William Way’s Tuesday Mornings Out group. Rosen’s degree in creative writing was put to good use when he published “Silent Battlefields: A Novel” when he was 74 years old. Rosen is survived by sister and brother-in-law Susan and Larry Warner, brother and sister-in-law Roy and Sherrie Rosen, several nieces and nephews, one aunt and several friends. In lieu of flowers, Kuehlwein said contributions to any charity that promotes positive change in the world can be made in Rosen’s name.