A letter from the chancellor on the death of Dean James E. McLeod

Washington University has lost one of its greatest citizens and leaders today. Our vice chancellor for students and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, James Earl McLeod, passed away this afternoon following complications of a long illness that he valiantly fought for several years.

No single individual has had a greater impact on the vitality and the quality of student life at this university. 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.

The university will plan a memorial event to honor Jim’s life and service, and we will communicate those details soon. In the meantime, I have asked that the university lower the flag on Brookings Hall to half staff.

For the thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni and parents that knew and loved Jim, we send our deepest sympathies and our heartfelt condolences. We will keep Jim’s wife Clara, his family, and many friends in our thoughts and prayers as they cope with this tremendous loss.


Mark S. Wrighton

To read the obituary of Dean McLeod, click here.