William Gaither, an engineer and professor who became president of Drexel University in Philadelphia, died Sept. 11, 2009. He was 76.
Gaither earned a bachelor’s in engineering from Rose Polytechnic Institute in 1956, and received a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Princeton in 1964. He was an associate professor in the coastal engineering department of the University of Florida from 1964 to 1965, and chief engineer for a pipeline division of the Bechtel Corp. from 1965 to 1967.
During the years 1967 to 1984, he rose from associate to full professor of civil engineering at the University of Delaware and then to dean of its College of Marine Studies. From 1984 to 1987, Gaither was president of Drexel University. In later years, he was the owner/consultant of Gaither & Associates.
He served on corporate boards of directors, as well as being a member of several state and national commissions on marine and coastal affairs. From 1973 to 1984, he was chair of the advisory council of Princeton’s department of civil engineering. He had been a contributing member of the APGA.
Gaither is survived by Robin, his wife of 50 years; a daughter; and two grandchildren.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.