William & Mary

Memorial service set for George Robert Healy

A memorial service for former William & Mary faculty member and administrator George Robert Healy has been set for Sunday, Oct. 24, at 1 p.m. in the Wren Chapel. A reception will follow in the Great Hall.

Healy, who died in July at the age of 87, joined William & Mary as professor of history and vice president for academic affairs in 1971. He became provost in 1979, a post he held for seven years. He also served as William & Mary's acting president for six months in 1985 between the presidencies of Tom Graves and Paul Verkuil. Healy retired in 1986 and was honored with the Thomas Jefferson Award.

George Robert HealyAccording to a message sent to the campus community by President Taylor Reveley in July, Healy was described as "a man Thomas Jefferson would have respected."

“Dr. Healy provided strong leadership as William & Mary moved toward a greater emphasis on research while retaining as well the College's traditional commitment to teaching,” Reveley said in the message.  “He was a man of sterling character whom colleagues trusted even in moments of disagreement. Upon his retirement, our Board of Visitors said George exemplified to an extraordinary degree ‘humaneness, civility, judgment, and integrity in a demanding position.’”

Following his retirement from William & Mary, Healy continued to serve in higher education, working as the acting president of  Christopher Newport University and Longwood University as well as executive vice president of Old Dominion University.  He also returned to William & Mary in the early 1990s, taking the helm of Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture as its acting director. Healy also pursued personal interests in his retirement, which included building a log cabin by hand in Maine.

“The College of William & Mary remembers George Healy with great appreciation and affection,” said Reveley. “We mourn his death.”