William C. Orr, a chemist and university administrator, died Jan. 16, 2009, of a head injury in Hartford, Conn.
Bill prepped at the John Burroughs School in St. Louis. At Princeton he was photography editor of Bric-a-Brac and a member of Terrace Club. He graduated with honors in chemistry.
Shortly after graduation, Bill entered a Ph.D. program in chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. This was interrupted by service as radar officer on the aircraft carrier USS Barnes, after which he returned to Berkeley and completed his Ph.D. in 1948.
Bill’s entire professional career was at the University of Connecticut. He joined the chemistry faculty there, became professor of chemistry, and spent 13 years as associate provost. During Bill’s tenure at Connecticut the university steadily increased in national standing. Bill’s contribution to this growth was recognized in 1978 when he received the University Service Award, given to those who make exceptional contributions to the university’s welfare.
Bill’s first wife, Jean, died in 1993 after 47 years of marriage. During his life with her and with his second wife, Nancy, Bill was surrounded by a loving family that included his son, Christopher ’89; his daughters, Alison and Katherine; and his stepchildren, Sylvia and Alec. To them all, the class sends condolences.