Sheldon Hackney, Princeton’s provost from 1972 to 1975 and chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) during the culture clashes of the 1990s, died of Lou Gehrig’s disease Sept. 12 on Martha’s Vineyard. He was 79. Hackney, an expert on the American South, served on the history faculty from 1965 to 1972, during which time he headed Princeton’s new Afro-American studies program. Hackney was president of Tulane University from 1975 to 1980 and president of the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 to 1993. As NEH chairman, Hackney organized a project that spurred about 1,400 public meetings designed to overcome ideological, racial, and religious divisions.
Frediano Bracco *70, professor emeritus of aerospace and mechanical engineering, died Sept. 3 in Princeton. Bracco arrived at Princeton as a graduate student in 1966 and joined the faculty in 1973. His major research focus was on the internal-combustion engine, and he was the author or co-author of more than 200 publications on related topics. Bracco earned numerous awards from the Society of Automotive Engineers. He retired from the faculty in 2005.
Lacey Baldwin Smith *51, a historian who served on the faculty from 1951 to 1953 before moving to MIT and then to Northwestern University, died Sept. 8 in Greensboro, Vt. He was 90. Smith, a Guggenheim and Fulbright recipient and two-time winner of a National Endowment for the Humanities award, published nine critically acclaimed books.