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2012 News Releases

Longwood mourns the loss of Professor Bill Stuart

September 10, 2012

Dr. Bill Stuart Dr. Bill Stuart

Dr. Bill Stuart, associate professor and interim chair of communication studies, died late Sunday, Sept. 9, at his home in Richmond. Affectionately known to students as "Dr. B," Stuart was a well-known professor on campus. [See information on visitation and memorial services]

Stuart came to Longwood in August 2000 as an assistant professor of communication studies. He was promoted to associate professor in 2006 and became interim chair of the newly formed communications studies department in July.

Longwood President Marge Connelly said Stuart's intellect and positive energy were evident around campus.

"Bill's passion for his students extended beyond the classroom to include personal attention and mentoring ... encouraging them in every way to be the best they could be," Connelly said.

At Longwood, Stuart served as a member of the Faculty Senate in 2010-11. He also sat on a number of committees, including the budget and planning committee and the 2011 search committee for an associate vice president for marketing and communications. In addition, he was instrumental in developing the Academic Strategic Plan. Before communication studies became a separate department, Stuart served as interim chair of the Department of Art in 2011-12.

In 2008, Stuart received a Faculty Connections Award to work with the public relations firm CRT/tanaka in Richmond to learn more about the agency side of the industry.

Coworkers described Stuart as a passionate leader who was committed to the future of the communication studies department.

"Bill always said how important it was to ‘live the Longwood brand.' He set high standards for his students and nurtured them to success," said Dr. Pam Tracy, associate professor of communication studies. "He cared about all of his students-he really did. He was what it meant to be a Lancer."

Others echoed Tracy's comments.

Jeff Halliday, assistant professor of communication studies: "Bill loved what he did. It was evident in the way he carried himself and most importantly in the way he treated everyone. He was cherished, beloved and respected. He was the ultimate professor."

Dr. Ramesh Rao, professor of communication studies: "Bill was the life of the department. He was a compassionate, thoughtful leader who was excited about the potential of this department."

Dr. Naomi Johnson, assistant professor of communication studies: "He was a light in the department.. He had such enthusiasm and leadership. He helped us find such good directions to go in."

Stuart received a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia in 1990, a master's degree from the University of North Carolina in 1992 and a Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Kansas in 2000.

He leaves his wife, Amy, and two sons, Colin and Keane.