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Obituary: William Williams, 60

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 15 - December 8, 1994

William "Bill" Williams, who joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1964 as the first full-time philosopher in what was the Department of Philosophy and Religion, died November 15 at the age of 60. He was an associate professor of philosophy and humanities.

Williams spent his 35-year teaching career in Virginia. He taught at Virginia Military Institute from 1959 until 1964 when he came to Tech. A graduate of the College of William and Mary in 1956, he continued graduate studies at Princeton University.

At Virginia Tech, he was instrumental in developing and organizing the Department of Philosophy and was one of the founders of Virginia Tech's interdisciplinary Center for Programs in the Humanities in 1975.

"His memorials are the persons and institutions transformed by him," said his associate Harlan Miller. "For thousands of students, Bill was a careful, gentle, but demanding teacher and a boundlessly patient adviser."

Active in the Faculty Senate, Williams served as a senator during the past several years. He was elected vice president of the Faculty Senate, but, because of illness, he retired before he could begin the term.

Very active in community service, Williams was chairman of the state and local ACLU organizations. He also held several offices with Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honor organizations. He also was a member of several professional organizations.