Bill Fox

Former Emory alum, professor and administrator Bill Fox died Friday evening at the Emory University Hospital, according to an April 13 University press release.

Fox had a multiple connections to Emory, including earning his doctorate in Religion in 1979, becoming the assistant director of the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts in 1974, becoming the first dean of Campus Life in 1979 and then rising to vice president of the University, according to the press release.

According to an article in the autumn 2010 Emory Magazine, Emory President Emeritus James Laney appointed Fox as vice president for Institutional Advancement in 1991, where he spearheaded a campaign that raised $420 million in 14 years.

Fox also continued to teach at least one class in Interdisciplinary Studies, which usually introduced the religious insights of his favorite novels each year, according to the Emory Magazine article.

According to the article, in the days before the Internet, Fox was known to memorize the names and faces of every incoming student from the directory before they stepped foot on campus.

Fox and his wife also established the Bill and Carol Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry. The center’s goal is to better serve the humanities by establishing interdisciplinary connections at Emory for the benefit of the community, the Atlanta region and ultimately the nation. The center sponsors scholarships and hosts receptions, seminars and lectures, as well as coordinates cross disciplinary undertakings, according to the Emory University Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry website.

Religion Professor of Pedagogy Barbara Patterson wrote in an email to the Wheel that Fox’s legacy is tangible in the alumni that grew into the values and mission of Emory when he was dean of Campus Life and the vision of the future in the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry.

“It was his devotion to the people and the place that taught us the best of our traditions in Campus Life and in the classroom,” Patterson wrote.

University President James W. Wagner echoed these sentiments in the press release.

“Bill Fox earned the affection and gratitude of the entire Emory community through his remarkable spirit and exemplary love of his alma mater,” Wagner said. “He left an indelible mark that will endure for a long time to come.”

– By Alyssa Posklensky 

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The Emory Wheel was founded in 1919 and is currently the only independent, student-run newspaper of Emory University. The Wheel publishes weekly on Wednesdays during the academic year, except during University holidays and scheduled publication intermissions.

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