Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications

Professor emeritus of Near Eastern studies BERNARD LEWIS died May 19 in Voorhees Township, N.J. He was 101. Lewis joined the faculty in 1974, transferred to emeritus status in 1986, and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in 2002. His research encompassed the Islamic world from medieval to contemporary times, and he was among the first to study issues of race, slavery, class, and the status of women in Middle Eastern history. After the Sept. 11 attacks, Lewis was sought out by American policymakers. He traced the attacks to a declining Islamic civilization — a controversial view that influenced world opinion and helped shape American policy on Middle Eastern affairs under President George W. Bush.

Denise Applewhite/Office of Communications

Former associate dean of the College RICHARD WILLIAMS *72 died May 11 in Princeton Junction, N.J. He was 75. Williams arrived at Princeton in 1970 as a graduate student in the history department and became assistant dean of the College in 1974. He advised more than 35,000 students before retiring in 2010. Williams was known for his “great rapport with students; ability to work quiet miracles, day in and day out, to rescue students in difficulty; and combination of intense human compassion and strong commitment to institutional standards,” said former dean of the College Nancy Malkiel. 

Courtesy Department of English

English professor emeritus and former dean of the Graduate School ALVIN KERNAN died May 17 in Skillman, N.J. He was 94. Kernan was on the faculty from 1973 until 1988 and served as dean from 1973 to 1977. He was an expert in English Renaissance drama, authored influential books on literary satire, and wrote essays concerning the nature of print culture and the challenges presented by new technologies. Kernan published editions of three of Shakespeare’s plays and wrote the third volume of The Revels History of the Drama in English, 1576–1613. 

Courtesy Woodrow Wilson School

ADEL MAHMOUD, lecturer with the rank of professor in molecular biology and the Woodrow Wilson School, died of a brain hemorrhage June 11 in New York City. He was 76. An expert on vaccine development and infectious diseases in the developing world, Mahmoud was an influential leader in academia, biopharmaceutical research and development, and global-health policy. After serving as president of Merck Vaccines from 1998 to 2006, he came to Princeton in 2007 as a senior policy analyst at the Woodrow Wilson School and transferred to the faculty in 2011. Mahmoud frequently provided scientific advice to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control.

Andrew Zega

LÉON-FRANÇOIS HOFFMANN *59, professor emeritus of French and Italian, died May 25 in Princeton. He was 86. Hoffman became an assistant professor in 1960 and transferred to emeritus status in 2003. He specialized in 19th-century French literature and Caribbean literature in French, and he taught seminars on French language, literature, and culture in former French colonial territories. Hoffman wrote several books, including textbooks and Le Nègre romantique, which won a prize from the Académie Française.