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Memoir

Madhav M. Deshpande
Regents' Proceedings 443

Madhav M. Deshpande, Ph.D., professor of Sanskrit and professor of linguistics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, retired from active faculty status on May 31, 2018.

Professor Deshpande received his B.A. degree from Fergusson College in 1966, his M.A. degree from the University of Poona (now Savitribai Phule Pune University) in 1968, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. He joined the University of Michigan faculty as a visiting assistant professor in 1972. He was appointed an assistant professor in 1973, and was promoted to associate professor in 1977, and professor in 1983.

Over the course of his long career at the University of Michigan, Professor Deshpande gained international renown for his analyses of Sanskrit grammar, becoming the world's leading expert on the fourth-century BCE grammarian Paniini. A prolific scholar, he was the author or editor of twenty-five books and published 138 scholarly articles in English, with additional scholarly articles in his native Marathi. A scholar of Sanskrit literature, he was also an accomplished author in Sanskrit, publishing plays and poems composed in Sanskrit as well as poetry in Marathi. Professor Deshpande was a dedicated teacher of Sanskrit to generations of students. In 1997, he published a textbook titled Sarnskq-asubodhinY: A Sanskrit Primer, revising it over the years, with the sixth revised edition published in 2014. It remains widely used for instruction in Sanskrit across the Anglophone world. His extensive learning in Sanskrit literature, and in the field of linguistics more broadly, made him an invaluable mentor to generations of graduate students in Sanskrit studies, linguistics, Hindu studies, Indian philosophy, and Buddhist studies. He served on 45 dissertation committees at the university over the course of his career.

The Regents now salute this distinguished faculty member by naming Madhav M. Deshpande, professor emeritus of Sanskrit and professor emeritus of linguistics.