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Former ODU Executive Vice President George Healy Dies

George R. Healy of Auburn, Maine, who served as executive vice president of Old Dominion University in 1988-89, died July 8, 2010. He was 87. He had been a resident of the Clover Assisted Living Center in Auburn since 2008.

Healy was a noted college professor and university administrator who served as vice president for academic affairs and provost at both Bates College in Lewiston, Maine (1961-71), and the College of William and Mary (1971-85). Healy also served as acting president of W&M in 1985, Christopher Newport College (now University) in 1986-87 and Longwood College (now University in 1987-88.

After serving at ODU during the interim presidency of William B. Spong Jr., he closed his career as acting director of the Institute of Early American History and Culture at W&M from 1990-92. His distinguished service to W&M was honored by the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1987, and for his service to the commonwealth of Virginia, he was honored by then Gov. Gerald Baliles.

A native of Milwaukee, Wis., Healy was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army Air Force in Saipan as a B-29 armament specialist. He graduated with honors from Oberlin College in 1948 and received his M.A. (1951) and Ph.D. (1955) from the University of Minnesota.

He began his career teaching history at the University of Minnesota (1951-53), MIT (1953-57) and Bates College (1957-61), and was particularly well known at Bates as one of the distinguished professors in the college's unique Cultural Heritage program. He was an emeritus professor of history at W&M.

Healy was a master academician and administrator beloved and respected for his intellect, creativity, sense of humor, fairness, leadership and his constant desire to teach and support teaching; he was an early advocate of study abroad programs. An 18th-century historian, he published a translation, with comment, of Montesquieu's "Persian Letters" and also was co-author of the bicentennial history of East Sumner, Maine, which received national recognition. A teacher and mentor at heart, his thoughtfulness and care was an influence on countless students, friends, colleagues and family.

He is survived by his three sons, David of Canton, Mass., Thomas of Palmer, Alaska, and Roger of Juneau, Alaska; and six grandchildren.


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This article was posted on: July 16, 2010

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