BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY


Dr. William T. Jerome

Dr. William T. Jerome

Former BGSU President William T. Jerome III dies at 88

Dr. William T. Jerome III, who served as president of BGSU from 1963-70, died March 10 in Bennington, Vt. He was 88.

The University’s sixth president led the institution during a period of rapid growth in enrollment, the creation of numerous graduate degree programs, and a building boom. BGSU Firelands in Huron became a reality under his watch, and nearly a dozen new buildings were constructed on the main campus. Among them was a new library, which Jerome called “the most important building we’ve built.” In 1982 that library was rededicated and named in his honor.

While the 1960s saw a dramatic period of growth in University history, it was also a turbulent time, with college protests against the Vietnam War. Campus unrest intensified after the Kent State University shootings on May 4, 1970. Under Jerome’s leadership, Bowling Green was the only state university in Ohio to remain open after the Kent shootings.
 
Jerome left BGSU in June 1970 to become vice president for academic affairs and a consultant in the creation of Florida International University, which opened its doors to students in 1972. He later became a Distinguished Professor of Management, a position he held until his retirement from Florida International.

The former BGSU president had started his career in higher education as assistant to the president and an instructor in economics at Middlebury College in Vermont. He joined the Syracuse University business administration faculty in 1953 as an associate professor. He served as dean of Syracuse’s College of Business Administration from 1958 until becoming president of BGSU in 1963.

A magna cum laude graduate of Colgate University, Jerome held master’s and doctoral degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He received honorary degrees from Middlebury College, the University of Toledo, the University of Tampa and BGSU in recognition of his many achievements.

He also was named an Honorary Alumnus by the BGSU Alumni Association in 1998.

March 17, 2008