Sept. 21, 2006
Vol. 26 No. 1

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    Professor Emeritus Cannon taught SSA social welfare courses and served as V.P. for Business and Finance for University

    William Cannon, a former Vice President at the University and Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Service Administration, has died at the age of 85.

    Cannon joined the Chicago faculty in 1976 and taught until 1989. During that same time, he also was a member of the University’s Committee on Public Policy Studies.

    Cannon taught several courses, including Federal Budgeting and Financing of Social Welfare Programs; Contemporary Philosophy & Social Welfare Policy; Planning and Implementing Federal Social Welfare Policies and Programs: The Federal Administrative System & Structures; and a doctoral-level workshop titled Developing New Social Welfare Programs & Policies.

    While on SSA faculty, he also served as Vice President for Business and Finance for the University until 1984. From 1968 to 1974, Cannon was the Vice President for Programs and Projects at the University as well. His first appointment in the University’s administration began in 1954 as Director of Social Sciences and College Development.

    “Bill Cannon was a devoted citizen of the University, a man of great breadth of talent and experience, who served the University in many important ways,” said Hanna Gray, President Emerita and the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in History and the College. “As Vice President, he initiated an ambitious program of renovating and reconstructing the Main Quadrangle buildings and of modernizing the financial and administrative systems of the University,” said Gray.

    “But he was above all a generalist, a student and teacher of public policy, a wise counselor on University affairs more generally, and a man comfortable with moving between the public world and that of the academy. We will always remember his liveliness, his gift for collegiality and the selflessness with which he served the University community,” Gray said.

    Harold Richman, Founding Director of Chapin Hall Center for Children and the Hermon Dunlap Smith Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Service Administration and the College, said Cannon not only was a successful University administrator, but an “important contributor” to the Committee on Public Policy Studies and SSA. “My appreciation of Bill centers around his remarkable combination of idealism and pragmatism and his down-to-earth, common sense approach to often complex policy problems,” said Richman.

    “He was successful here because he could appreciate the basic scholarship that was a hallmark of the place, and he could find its connections to contemporary policy issues,” Richman said. “He was a wonderful friend and colleague for many of us.”

    Cannon received a Ph.B. from the University in 1947, and his A.M. in Political Science in 1949 from the Division of Social Sciences.

    Cannon is survived by his four children: Julia Kable (A.B. ’71), Dominic, William M. and Robert (A.B. ’83). Donations in Cannon’s memory may be made to the University’s School of Social Service Administration.