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William F. Whitbeck Jr., professor emeritus of marketing, died Jan. 11, 2005.

A resident of Irvington, Va., Whitbeck, 80, had retired from Old Dominion in 1995 after 29 years at the university.

He received an A.B. in humanities in 1946 from Princeton University, an M.B.A. in 1947 from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in marketing in 1967 from the University of North Carolina.

Whitbeck joined the ODU marketing department faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor and was awarded tenure in 1969. He was promoted to professor in 1970.
He developed several innovative courses, including Environmental Scanning, Distribution, Entrepreneurship, and Hospital and Health Care Administration. He brought to the classroom a challenging blend of academic studies coupled with prior military and business experience, that included decorated Marine Corps service in the Korean conflict, a position with the U.S. Department of State, a brief career as a department store buyer and many years as a restaurateur.

As a faculty member in the College of Business and Public Administration, Whitbeck served as director of the M.B.A. program, dean of the Division of Continuing Education and director of the Institute of Management. He also served as acting chair of the marketing department. In addition, he was a consultant for several prominent Norfolk businesses.

An active participant in community affairs, Whitbeck served as the president of the United Way of Virginia and was a United Way board member for 15 years. He also served on the boards of the Colonial Coast Girl Scout Council and the YMCA.

Upon his designation as an emeritus professor, the university paid him the following tribute: "During his 29 years at Old Dominion University, Dr. Whitbeck has provided distinguished service to the Department of Marketing and the College of Business and Public Administration. He is respected by his colleagues and students for his dedication to quality higher education."

He was the widower of Shirley Dixon Whitbeck. Survivors include his wife, Barbara Breeden Whitbeck; three sons, William G. Whitbeck of Williamsburg, and Thomas D. Whitbeck and Christopher R. Whitbeck, both of Norfolk; and four grandchildren.

This article was posted on: January 31, 2005

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