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In Memoriam

In memoriam is a page to read featured obituaries of Northwestern alumni, faculty and staff. Visit Remembrances to read memorials of Northwestern community members submitted by their family or peers. Please send obituaries to

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Ned Smith

Ned Smith, Wilmette, Ill., Sept. 25, 2021, at age 40. An associate professor of management and organizations, Smith joined the Kellogg School of Management in 2013 and served as an associate professor of sociology (by courtesy) at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He was also a core faculty member of the Northwestern Institute for Complex Systems. Smith’s research demonstrated that social networks can have influential psychological and cognitive determinants. Following his 2018 glioblastoma diagnosis, Smith chronicled his experiences in an online journal in hopes that sharing his journey with cancer could help others. He and his family partnered with two other Chicago-area families to launch Pickles Group, a nonprofit that supports children through their parents’ cancer. Kellogg’s Research Mentorship Award, which Smith received in 2019, has been renamed in his honor. Members of the Northwestern community honored Smith’s life during various memorial receptions and a ser- vice at Alice Millar Chapel. He is survived by his wife, Erin, and their four children, Finn, Beckett, Eliza and Cecily. Photo: Evanston Photographic Studios Inc.

Arnold Weber

Arnold Weber, Northwestern University president emeritus, Northbrook, Ill., Aug. 20, age 90. Weber presided over a decade of growth and prosperity that strengthened the University financially and academically and put it on a path to national prominence as a research powerhouse. He helped put the University on a solid financial footing, allowing Northwestern to attract top faculty, address deferred maintenance and develop significant new academic initiatives, including returning to a strong focus on teaching undergraduates. Weber’s legacy also includes attracting unprecedented support for the University’s growing research enterprise, helping triple its invested assets, boosting enrollment, enhancing the student experience and beautifying the physical campus.

Born and raised in New York City, Weber attended the University of Illinois, where he met Edna Files, whom he later married. Weber earned a doctorate in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where George Schultz was his adviser. When Schultz became dean at the University of Chicago, he recruited Weber to join the Graduate School of Business faculty. He and Schultz were considered among the nation’s top labor economists. The two also worked closely in the Nixon administration. Weber served as associate director of the Office of Management and Budget in 1970–71 and as executive director of the Cost of Living Council, an initiative to halt inflation.

After stints as provost at Carnegie Mellon University and president of the University of Colorado, Weber became Northwestern’s 14th president in 1985. Following his retirement in 1994, Weber was named University chancellor in 1995 and three years later became president emeritus.

Weber is survived by his three sons, Paul, David and Bob; and eight grandchildren. (See “A Hard Act to Follow.”)

Credit: Dewey Hentges

Don E. Schultz

Don E. Schultz, Chicago, June 4, 2020, age 86. Commonly referred to as the “father of IMC,” Schultz joined the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications faculty in 1977. He chaired the Department of Advertising in the mid-1980s and led the consolidation of the school’s advertising, direct marketing and public relations curricula in the late ’80s. In 1991, Medill launched the first graduate-level integrated marketing communications program in the United States. A prolific scholar, Schultz wrote or co-wrote 28 books. He received Northwestern’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award in 2010 and was inducted into Medill’s Hall of Achievement in 2019. He also was president of Agora Inc., a global marketing, communication and branding consulting firm in Chicago. Schultz is survived by his wife, Heidi, who was his business partner and co-author on several books; his sons, Steven, Bradley and Jeff; and seven grandchildren. Read Schultz's full Northwestern obituary.

Photo: Courtesy of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications

Hecky Powell

Hecky Powell, Evanston, May 22, 2020, age 71. A lifelong Evanston resident and adored member of the community, Powell opened Hecky’s Barbecue in 1983 with just $100 in his cash register. With the view that he could make the greatest difference in his community as a small-business owner, Powell employed local high school students at his restaurant and founded the Work Ethic Program to provide training, internships, mentoring and tuition stipends to students interested in trade and tech. He also started the Forrest E. Powell Foundation, a youth vocational program named after his father. Powell’s positive influence on Evanston young people earned him a godfather-like reputation, and he served in countless city leadership roles, including as board president of Evanston/Skokie School District 65. The annual Northwestern community picnic has been named in memory of Powell. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Judice ’76 MA, ’06 PhD, an adjunct professor in the School of Education and Social Policy; his children, Sharmin, Terry, Dawn, Joy, Hecky Jr., Jason and Gigi; and his grandchildren. Read Powell's full Northwestern obituary. 

Photo: Genie Lemieux/Evanston Photo

Catherine Logan Stembridge

Catherine Logan Stembridge ʼ00 MS, Evanston, March 4, at age 70. A longtime leader of Northwestern alumni organizations and director of Northwestern’s “We Will” Campaign leadership committees, Stembridge was beloved by her University colleagues and hundreds of alumni. For more than 30 years, she served Northwestern alumni, first as director of the Northwestern Alumni Association’s clubs program, then as the association’s deputy director and executive director, and then as associate vice president of Alumni Relations and Development. Stembridge was a member of the Council of One Hundred, Rho Lambda and the Women’s Board of Northwestern. She was also an honorary member of the N Club and NUMBALUMS. She is survived by her husband, George; children Catherine “Katie” Wisby ’05 MBA and George IV; and grandchildren Beau and Mary. Read her full Northwestern obituary. 

David S. Ruder

David S. Ruder, former dean of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and the William W. Gurley Memorial Professor of Law Emeritus, Highland Park, Ill., Feb. 15, 2020, at age 90. During two years as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the late 1980s, Ruder confronted what is still the largest single-day stock market crash in U.S. history, on Oct. 19, 1987. He led the SEC’s implementation of new mechanisms to protect the markets, including “circuit breakers” that are still in place today. Ruder, who joined the Northwestern faculty in 1961, served as dean of the law school from 1977 to 1985. As dean he helped plan the construction of the Rubloff Building and the remodeling of Levy Mayer and McCormick halls. He also recruited several distinguished scholars to join the faculty. A leading scholar in corporate and securities law, Ruder taught courses in enforcement, insider trading, tender offers and other regulatory topics. He became professor emeritus in 2005 and continued to teach through the 2016–17 academic year. He is survived by his wife, Susan Frankel Ruder ’83 JD; a daughter, Julia; sons David S. Ruder II ’00 JD, MBA and John; stepchildren Elizabeth and Rebecca; and nine grandchildren.

John R. McLane

John “Jock” McLane, Evanston, Jan. 24, at age 84.  After graduating from Harvard College in 1957, he earned a doctorate in South Asian history at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies in 1961. He came to Northwestern in the same year and Evanston was his scholarly home for the rest of his long career, through 2010. 

McLane taught not only South Asian history, his primary field of study, but also Southeast Asian history, and for many decades operated as one of the only people on campus to provide expertise on those parts of the world. 

His two major books were Indian Nationalism and the Early Congress (1977), which won the Watamull Prize awarded by the American Historical Association, and Land and Local Kingship in Eighteenth Century Bengal (1993). McLane’s research was supported by the American Institute of Indian Studies in Calcutta, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council and Northwestern University. 

McLane served as history department chair three times (1983–86, 1994–97 and 2004–05) and associate dean of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, where he served twice, from 1990 to 1994 and for his final three years at Northwestern, from 2007 to 2010. 

Equally importantly, McLane was a significant force in expanding, diversifying and internationalizing the college curriculum. He chaired the Committee on Afro-American Studies in the 1970s and the Advisory Committee for the Program on African and Asian Languages. He also led an ad hoc committee on non-western studies requirements in the 1980s. McLane created and then directed the Asian Studies Program and also served as interim director of the Asian American Studies Program in the early 2000s. Northwestern remembers his achievements through the annual John R. McLane Prize for best undergraduate essay in Asian Studies. 

McLane also supported student life beyond the classroom. He was one of the founders of the Residential College system, took a special interest in establishing the International Studies Residential College and served as its first Master in the 1980s. 

But most of all, McLane was quite possibly the nicest guy in the building — for more than half a century. James Sheridan, a long-retired colleague, wrote of Jock in 1972 that “I cannot exaggerate Mr. McLane’s personal qualities. At Northwestern, he is universally regarded as a man of towering humanity and integrity. I and all my colleagues consider him a unique and indispensable member of the department who invariably acts to bring out the best in all of us.”

McLane is survived by his wife, Joan Brooks in 1957; their two children, Derek and Rebecca; and five grandchildren, Cooper, Hudson, Kathryn, Nick and Luke Pemberton. 

Photo courtesy of Northwestern University Archives

Read Anupama R. Oza and Rajesh C. Oza's remembrance of McLane, “Great Expectations: A Guru's Life Lessons for His Chelas.”