Ludlow Hopkins Baldwin, 92, Gilman headmaster, taught ancient history

January 06, 1998|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Ludlow Hopkins Baldwin, a former Gilman School headmaster who brought diversity to the school and guided it through the turbulent '60s, died Friday of complications from a stroke at Roland Park Place Retirement Community. He was 92.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Baldwin graduated from City College in 1921 and Gilman School in 1922. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1926 and a master's degree in archaeology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1947.

A 1929 graduate of Harvard Law School, he practiced law for one week in New York City before he abandoned his legal career, returned to Baltimore and went to work for Terminal Warehouse Co. He served as president of the storage firm from 1936 to 1942.

At the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard carriers in the Pacific until 1946, when he was discharged with the rank of commander. His decorations included five campaign ribbons and 12 battle stars.

In 1946, Mr. Baldwin began teaching ancient and American history at Gilman.

Gifted with a booming voice and an infectious personality, he was popular with students and faculty.

In his gray flannels and blue blazer, Mr. Baldwin "had the look of a schoolteacher and always felt that he was part of a pure profession," Rignal W. Baldwin Jr., a nephew, said yesterday.

"He had a very direct manner, but his bark was worse than his bite, and his seemingly brusque exterior masked a kind heart," he said.

Mr. Baldwin summed up his life when he told Patrick Smithwick, editor of "Gilman Voices 1897-1997," that, "There was nothing like ancient history for forming the minds of boys 12 and 13, for teaching morals without coming head-on at morals or ethics. You can get it all out of Plutarch, the life of Pericles or Caesar or any of them."

"He was an amazingly dynamic and inspirational teacher," recalled A. J. "Jerry" Downs yesterday, who taught English at Gilman for 39 years.

"Ancient history, of the Near and Middle East, was a subject of particular fascination to him," wrote Ambler H. Moss, a 1956 graduate of the school.

Mr. Baldwin was named Gilman dean in 1955 and served as acting headmaster in 1953 and 1954 and again in 1960, while his predecessor, Henry A. Callard, was on sabbatical.

In 1963, he was appointed the school's ninth headmaster.

When he moved into the headmaster's house on campus, Mr. Baldwin made it a point not to drink or smoke in the house, saying he had to "set an example" and would refrain from both while on campus.

Integration of the school started in 1962 during Mr. Callard's tenure, but it was greatly expanded during Mr. Baldwin's regime.

"He pushed very hard to open the doors of Gilman wider. He felt that Gilman needed to be far more progressive and diverse than it had been and that the time was right," the nephew said.

"Mr. Baldwin was headmaster during the most complex of times," said Archibald R. Montgomery IV, headmaster of Gilman since 1992.

"He was an old-fashioned gentleman that was caught up in the vortex of Vietnam, the Kennedy assassination and drugs. But he managed to pilot Gilman's ship through stormy seas, and the ship barely rocked."

Other accomplishments included establishing the school's business and development offices.

Redmond C. S. Finney, who followed Mr. Baldwin as headmaster after his 1968 retirement, said, "He was also a first-class (P administrator and human being who really brought modern administration and organization to Gilman."

After leaving Gilman, Mr. Baldwin lectured and went on archaeology digs in the Middle East. He also shared long lunches with former Gilman colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Club.

"When you came away from him, you just felt a little better about life, about yourself. You were awake. You looked at the sky, the grass, a flower, and you saw each in all of its intensity of life. You just bounced along," Mr. Smithwick said.

In 1946, Mr. Baldwin married Anne Gordon Boyce, who died in 1990.

A memorial Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 811 Cathedral St.

Mr. Baldwin is survived by another nephew, A. Page Boyce of Dover, Del.; and two nieces, Ann Baldwin Smith of Potomac and Helen Huntly Boyce of Connecticut.

Pub Date: 1/06/98

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