William & Mary

Message regarding George Robert Healy

President Taylor Reveley sent the following message regarding the passing of George Robert Healy to the campus community on July 14, 2010 - Ed.

Dear William & Mary Community,

With real sadness, I share the news that George Robert Healy died on July 8th in Auburn, Maine.  He was 87.   A marvelous leader and cherished friend to those who worked with him, Dr. Healy was described as "a man Thomas Jefferson would have respected."

George Healy (Photo courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center)George Healy 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.   George was also William & Mary's acting president for six months in 1985 between the presidencies of Tom Graves and Paul Verkuil.  He retired in 1986 and was honored with the Thomas Jefferson Award.

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.  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."

A man of many talents, he found in retirement the freedom to pursue his interests, including building a log cabin by hand on his property in Maine.  He periodically returned to the academy when the need arose.  Dr. Healy served as acting president of Christopher Newport University and Longwood University as well as executive vice president of Old Dominion University.  He returned to William & Mary as Acting Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture in the early 1990s.

The College of William & Mary remembers George Healy with great appreciation and affection.  We mourn his death.

Plans for a memorial service have not yet been announced.

Taylor Reveley