Dean McLeod passes away after long battle with cancer

| Editor in Chief

Dean McLeodMatt Mitgang | Student Life

Vice Chancellor for Students and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences James McLeod speaks at the opening ceremonies of the 2011 Washington University Relay for Life. McLeod passed away September 6 following a battle with cancer.


James McLeod, the vice chancellor for students and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, passed away Tuesday due to complications from cancer.

“No single individual has had a greater impact on the vitality and the quality of student life at this University,” Wrighton said in a school-wide e-mail. “Jim was truly a man of wisdom, compassion, and steadfast loyalty to the University. He enjoyed deep and lasting respect from all who were fortunate to interact with him.”

McLeod,67, has been a part of the Washington University community since 1974, when he became an assistant professor in German. He was named assistant dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1974. In 1977 he became assistant to then-Chancellor William H. Danforth. He was the director of the African and Afro-American Studies Program from 1987 to 1992, when he was named Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences.

In 2010, a scholarship was set up in McLeod’s name to be given to students who exhibit the qualities he prized most highly: leadership, academic achievement, commitment to serving others and integrity. He also led the Ervin Scholars Program.

A vigil was held Tuesday night in the Brookings Quad for Ervin scholars and anyone else who wishes to attend.

A remembrance Facebook page has already been set up here.

This week’s Jazz at Holmes will be dedicated to McLeod.

The full text of Chancellor Wrighton’s letter can be found here.

  • Libby Hill

    Another great man has left us, but let us not forget what he stood for and all his hard work. He was a person that love people, family and his community. We will miss you!

  • nw

    I only met Dean McLeod twice during my time at WU, but the way this man made a Wash U education accessible to anyone willing to work for it changed my life. May he rest in peace.

  • D

    God bless him and his family.