Skip to main content

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 alums@northwestern.edu.

Filter alumni by decade:

Narrow to:

james dunlap obituaryJames A. Dunlap ’43, ’47 MS, New Wilmington, Pa., Jan. 16, 2018, at age 95.

A longtime newspaperman, Mr. Dunlap helped advance journalism and social justice in Pennsylvania.

After serving three years in the U.S. Army Air Force and Army Counter Intelligence Corps during World War II, he worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Des Moines Register before joining the staff of the Herald in Sharon, Pa. During 35 years on staff he worked his way up from teletype editor to editor, a post he held for 16 years. He was a founding member of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi.

Mr. Dunlap was also an avid scout. He earned the rank of life scout and eventually became president of the Mercer County Boy Scout Council. He received the Silver Beaver in 1964 for distinguished service to youth. In 2000 Mr. Dunlap resigned his council membership in protest of the Boy Scouts’ exclusionary policy towards gay scoutmasters.

Mr. Dunlap is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Ellis Bromley; a daughter, Julia; a stepson, David; two grandsons; a granddaughter; and a great-grandson.

James R. McManus

James R. McManus ’56 MBA, Fairfield, Conn., Jan. 10, 2018, at age 84. A Northwestern life trustee, Mr. McManus revolutionized the marketing world, creating Marketing Corporation of America, the first-ever integrated marketing services firm positioned to serve Fortune 50 consumer product companies. 

After graduating from the Kellogg School of Management in 1956, Mr. McManus worked for Procter & Gamble and Glendinning Companies. In 1971 he set out on his own, founding MCA with just $25,000 in savings and a $50,000 loan. 

Over the next 26 years, it grew to be a $500 million enterprise whose clients included PepsiCo, Frito-Lay, IBM, Quaker Oats, Lipton and Dunkin’ Donuts. Its services included strategic consulting, market research, advertising, sales promotion programs and venture capital. Mr. McManus’ enterprise also included auto dealerships, Business Express Airlines and the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo.

In 1989 the Northwestern Apartments, a seven-story complex in downtown Evanston for Kellogg students and their families, was renamed the McManus Center in honor of his leadership gift to the Campaign for Kellogg. He also supported the John C. Nicolet Football Center, the Ryan Field headquarters for football staff and players. He was a loyal Northwestern football fan. 

Survivors include his wife, Betty; four children, Robert, Melissa McManus ’87, Mitchell McManus ’97 MBA and Stuart McManus ’89, ’95 MBA; three stepchildren, Karl, Kurt Soderland ’90 MBA and Eric Soderlund ’96 MBA; and 12 grandchildren, including Northwestern students Nicolette McManus, a junior, and Graysen McManus, a first-year student.

Illustration courtesy of Karl Soderlund 

Thomas Charles Zay Sr. ’54, Thomasville, Ga., Jan. 8, 2018, at age 85.

Mr. Zay attended Northwestern on a Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship. Upon graduation, he received his officer commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He attended flight school in Pensacola, Fla., and a naval aviator. He flew F-5 and F-9 fighter jets before being honorably discharged with the rank of captain in 1957.

Mr. Zay went on to a 50-year career in executive search consulting, advancing corporate executive leadership teams with several companies, including Booz, Allen & Hamilton and Paul R. Ray and Co., where he served as executive vice president for 14 years. He was named one of the top 250 executive recruiters nationally and one of the top 10 executive recruiters working with aerospace, paper, publishing and printing, textiles and higher education industries.

A devoted supporter of his alma mater, Mr. Zay founded the Atlanta-area Northwestern alumni club and was involved in fundraising and other alumni activities. He was an avid Wildcats football fan.

“Tom Zay will always be remembered as the most tremendous ’Cats fan,” says Rachel Rosner ’88, a Northwestern Alumni Association regional director and NU Club of Atlanta board member. “Along with his wife Betty, Tom was a mainstay at our weekly football watch parties. I will always remember him with a beer in hand and quietly glued to the game. The entire Atlanta club will miss our most devoted and dependable fan.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Zay is survived by two sons, Thomas and Michael; a daughter, Julia H. Zay ’95 MA; and four grandchildren.

cynthia cc dubois obituaryCynthia “CC” DuBois ’14 MA, ’17 PhD, Chicago, Jan. 2, 2018, at age 32.

An award-winning scholar, Ms. DuBois was the first doctoral student in Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy to receive a Presidential Fellowship, the University’s most prestigious graduate student award.

Ms. DuBois’ research used econometric methods to draw causal conclusions regarding the impact of race-based affirmative action policies on hiring outcomes. The first chapter of her dissertation focused on the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operations positions. It was published in a scholarly journal  American Law and Economics Reviewin 2016. She also presented her findings at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, director of Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research and one of Ms. DuBois’ longtime mentors, called her “one of the most promising young scholars,” she has ever known.

While studying at Louisiana State University, Ms. DuBois was named a Truman Scholar, a highly competitive national scholarship program that recognizes college juniors for leadership and public service. She also received a master’s in public policy, with honors, from the University of Chicago in 2010.

In 2007 DuBois was selected to USA Today’s annual All-USA College Academic First Team, in part for her efforts working with her old high school, which received an influx of evacuees after Hurricane Katrina. Ms. DuBois organized “We’ve Got Your Back,” a drive that eventually provided 46,000 backpacks of school supplies to hurricane-displaced students.

Born in Louisiana, Ms. DuBois grew up on a ranch and became a skilled horsewoman. She was the American Quarter Horse Youth Association world champion calf roper in 2004.

Ms. DuBois is survived by her partner, John Boller; her father, Bruce; and her sister, Shelley.

William B. Mead ’55, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2017, at age 83.

A journalist and baseball writer, Mr. Mead wrote seven books on baseball, including Even the Browns: The Zany, True Story of Baseball in the Early Forties. A native of St. Louis, Mr. Mead grew up watching the Browns, one of the worst Major League Baseball teams in history. His book details the franchise’s single wartime championship season.

He also wrote The Official New York Yankees Hater’s Handbook, and in 1993 he co-authored The Presidents’ Game, which explored links between baseball and U.S. presidents. In addition to baseball books, Mr. Mead co-wrote American Averages: Amazing Facts of Everyday Life, a 1980 collection of statistical trivia.

After graduating from Northwestern, Mr. Mead spent two years in the U.S. Army. He later held reporting jobs with the United Press International and Money magazine.

He is survived by his wife, Jennifer Hilton Mead ’55; a son, Christopher; a brother; and three grandchildren.

Mary Mix McDonald

Mary Mix McDonald ’46, New Berlin, N.Y., Dec. 12, 2017, at age 92.

Ms. McDonald became the first Republican woman elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners in 1974. When she stepped down from the board after two decades, she was lauded for writing legislation that served as national models, including ordinances that raised the drinking age from 18 to 21 and made parents responsible for teen vandalism and teenage drinking in the home.

Ms. McDonald also chaired the county board’s Chicago Botanic Garden committee and in 1994 joined the garden’s board. She helped raise funds to annex a 100-acre oak woodland, which was named in her honor in 1996.

Ms. McDonald is survived by her children, Elizabeth, Sandra and Gerald; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and two brothers, B. John Mix Jr. ’53, ’56 JD and Joseph Mix.

Joseph Newton III ’51, ’52 MS, Goodyear, Ariz., Dec. 9, 2017, at age 88.

A former sprinter for Northwestern’s track team, Mr. Newton joined York High School in Elmhurst, Ill., in 1956 and became cross-country coach four years later. During Mr. Newton’s nearly six-decade coaching career, York won 20 national cross-country championships and 28 state titles.

Mr. Newton became the first high school track coach to serve on the U.S. Olympic coaching staff when he was assistant manager of the U.S. men’s track team in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988.

A four-time national cross-country coach of the year, he was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Federation’s Hall of Fame and the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame. He retired in 2016.

Mr. Newton is survived by his wife, Joan; daughter, Cindy; sons, Thomas and John; and four grandchildren, Caitlin, Kyle, Julia and Lauren.