Biographical Note:  Robert G. Gassert was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 6, 1921. Following graduation from Marquette University High School in 1939, he attended Marquette University from 1939-1941. In 1941 he joined the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri and remained for four years studying theology. He then received his A.B and M.A. in Philosophy from St. Louis University in 1945 and 1948, respectively. He taught briefly, from 1948-1951, at Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, after which he attended St. Mary’s College in Kansas, where he was ordained in 1954 and received his S.T.L. in 1955. After his tertianship at St. Joseph’s Hall in Decatur, Illinois, he attended Gregorian University in Rome, Italy and received his S.T.D. in 1958.

In 1958 Gassert joined the Marquette University faculty as a theology instructor. Five years later, in 1963, he became the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, now the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1979 he was named the Corporate Vice President of Marquette, a position held until 1990 when he became the national chaplain of the Marquette University Alumni Association. He also served as secretary to the Board of Trustees for several years.

Gassert co-authored the book Psychiatry and Religious Faith with Bernard H. Hall, M.D., a collaboration formed in 1962-1963 during Gassert’s postdoctoral fellowship in religion and psychiatric theology at the Menninger Foundation in Kansas.

Reverend Robert Gassert died of cancer June 17, 1993.

Scope and Content:  The Robert G. Gassert Papers, 1935-1992 (2.4 cubic feet) document the teaching and administrative career of Gassert, as well as his Jesuit training and education. Researchers should be aware that related materials are also located in the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the President record groups. The papers are arranged in four series, as follows:

Series 2.1 – Correspondence, 1938-1992 (.9 cubic feet) is arranged by correspondent and topic in an effort to preserve the original order maintained by Gassert. Weekly letters to his family while in school document his religious training and personal life. His roles at Marquette University are also documented.

Series 2.2 – Public Addresses and Writings, 1953-1992 (.3 cubic feet) is arranged alphabetically and includes talks and sermons given by Gassert, many of which were given in conjunction with events sponsored  by Marquette.

Series 2.3 – Education, 1935-1992 (.9 cubic feet) documents Gassert’s role as both teacher and student. Includes teaching and lecture notes, graded assignments, and certificates and diplomas documenting Gassert’s educational accomplishments. Researchers should note that many assignments and notes from Gassert’s years as a student are in Latin.

Series 2.4 – Travel and Personal Events, 1941-1986 (.3 cubic feet) is arranged alphabetically and includes correspondence, photographs, and personal documents.

Series 2.1 Correspondence, 1938-1992
Series 2.2 Public Addresses and Writings, 1953-1992
Series 2.3 Education, 1935-1992
Series 2.4 Travel and Personal Events, 1941-1986