Deceased April 27, 2019

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In Memory

Bill Newell, 75, passed away in April after a long downward spiral driven by cancer. He is survived by his wife, Susan Hopp; a sister, Carole Elewell; a daughter, Sylvia; a son, Will; a stepdaughter, Megan Smith; and four grandchildren.

After Amherst, Bill attended the University of Pennsylvania and found his intellectual footing at Miami University, where he taught for 40 years. He was a pioneer in the field of interdisciplinary studies and assisted many universities besides his own in setting up their own programs. Bill believed this curriculum created new approaches to solving the complex problems of our times. In the course of his academic career, he painstakingly corrected thousands of senior theses and lectured tirelessly. (Sometimes to his children, was the report!) 

He and Susan traveled widely to exotic locales, including the Galapagos, Peru, China and Costa Rica. Bill also took a couple of memorable wine-inspired adventures—cross-country trips on a private train car and a river cruise in France, surrounded by friends, as he was at Amherst and throughout his well-lived life. He and Susan loved classical music and created a program to bring local students and their families to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Yet Bill’s proudest role was that of father and grandfather. He was, according to people who knew him throughout his life, a fundamentally good human who also believed in the inherent goodness of humanity. He was, his wife Susan reports, less benign when it came to “waiting in lines, shopping malls and pop music.”

Paul Ehrmann ’65

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