|September 18, 2003|
Presidents Bonner, Auburn are mourned
Thomas N. Bonner, the 15th president of the College and a distinguished scholar of the medical profession and medical education, died Sept. 2 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 80.
Bonner was appointed to the Union presidency in March 1974, coming here from three years as president of the University of New Hampshire. During his first year at the College, he announced several major gifts, such as a $250,000 Mellon Faculty Development Grant and $230,000 for a new computer center, and appointed two task forces, the President's Commission on the Status of Women and the Campus Commission on Race Relations, both intended to improve the quality of life on campus. But he became embroiled in controversy about the direction of the men's ice hockey program, and by 1977 the campus was in turmoil. He resigned in May 1978 to become president of Wayne State University in Detroit. He returned to teaching in 1982 and soon reestablished his scholarly reputation. His seven books in the field of American medicine were widely praised, and at his he retirement from Wayne State in 1997 as the Distinguished Professor of History and Higher Education he became a visiting scholar in history and biology at Arizona State University.
He is survived by his wife, Sylvia Firnhaber Bonner of Scottsdale; a son, Philip Bonner, of Columbus, Ohio; and a daughter, Diana Bonner, of Glendale, Ariz.
Norman P. Auburn, acting president of the College in 1978-79, died July 21. He was 98. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he served in a variety of offices at Cincinnati and was named president of the University of Akron in 1951. There, he oversaw the creation of four colleges, the law school, and several doctoral programs. After his retirement in 1971, he joined the Academy for Educational Development and served as acting president of several colleges.