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2017: Stanford remembers

Members of the Stanford community remember those who have passed away in 2017.


Ben Barres, professor of neurobiology, of developmental biology and of neurology who identified crucial roles of the brain’s glial cells, died Dec. 27 in Palo Alto, California.

Marvin L. Herrington, Stanford police chief emeritus who served as head of the Stanford Department of Public Safety for 30 years under four university presidents, died Dec. 27 at Stanford.

Michael P. Predmore, professor emeritus of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, best known for his analysis of Juan Ramón Jiménez’s  poems, died at home Dec. 23.

Morris “Buzz” Zelditch Jr., a major contributor to the field of sociological social psychology and a founding father of the current Department of Sociology at Stanford, died Dec. 8 at Stanford.

Jean Galt Coblentz, Class of ’47 alumna, retired long-time employee of the Office of Development and dedicated university volunteer, died Dec. 5.


Tevin Tatro, who earned an undergraduate degree in 2015, died Nov.29 in Los Angeles.

Charles Kruger, former vice provost and dean of research, who increased Stanford’s research funding and helped lead the university toward more interdisciplinary research efforts, died Nov. 20 in Palo Alto, California.

Sidney Self, professor (research) emeritus of mechanical engineering, who had a reputation for generous mentoring and finding elegant solutions to complex problems, died Nov. 5 in San Mateo, California.

Arjay Miller, a former dean of Stanford Graduate School of Business who was committed to encouraging business and public sector partnerships to improve society, died Nov. 3 in Woodside, California.


Mary Edmonds, former vice provost of student affairs who led a restructuring of Stanford’s student services during her tenure at the university, died Oct. 11 in Los Angeles.

John Freidenrich, alumnus and successful investor who served as chair of the Board of Trustees and director of Stanford University Hospital during his decades-long involvement with the university, died Oct. 11 at Stanford.

Gordon S. Kino, electrical engineer, applied physicist and inventor, died Oct. 9 at Stanford Hospital.

Sylke Tempel, German journalist and longtime Stanford lecturer at the Bing Overseas Studies Program in Berlin, died Oct. 5 in Berlin, Germany.


William F. Miller, former Stanford provost and a founding member of the Department of Computer Science who made early contributions to the application of computation in math, science and business, died Sept. 27 in Cupertino, California.

Von R. Eshleman, professor emeritus of electrical engineering who founded the Center for Radar Astronomy, which oversaw radio propagation experiments from the 150-foot antenna commonly known at Stanford as “The Dish,” died Sept. 22 in Palo Alto.

John Lewis, a political scientist who was a pioneer in establishing some of the first university programs in contemporary Asian politics in the United States, while also advocating peaceful resolutions to international conflicts, died Sept. 4 at Stanford.


Bob Murphy, who served many roles in over 50 years at Stanford Athletics – standout pitcher, longtime broadcaster and sports information director – died Aug. 22 in Santa Cruz.

Robert Cannon, the Charles Lee Powell Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Emeritus, who helped design the device that successfully tested Einstein’s theory of relativity and launched Stanford’s Aerospace Robotics Lab, died Aug. 15 at Stanford.


Maryam Mirzakhani, professor of mathematics and the only female winner of the Fields Medal since its inception in 1936, died July 14 at Stanford.


Tyrone McGraw, a two-sport Cardinal athlete in track and football who overcame difficult circumstances to graduate from Stanford and begin a career in public service, died June 18 in Sacramento.


Miguel Méndez, the Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law, Emeritus, a leading authority on both the federal and California rules of evidence and Stanford Law School’s first Latino professor, died May 25 in San Carlos, California.

George Thompson, the Benjamin M. Page Professor, Emeritus, who chaired the departments of Geophysics and Geology and was a former dean of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, died May 12 in Palo Alto.

Ronald Alexander, professor emeritus of communication who taught documentary filmmaking for 18 years at Stanford, died May 7 at Stanford.


Marc Bertrand, professor emeritus of French who taught French civilization and cultural history for more than three decades at Stanford, died April 28 at Stanford.

Kenneth Vosti, professor emeritus of medicine who was an expert in infectious disease, died April 26 at Stanford.

Iris J. Wildman, retired public services librarian and senior reference and special projects librarian at Stanford Law School’s Robert Crown Law Library, died April 18 in Cupertino.


Marion Smith, research professor emerita in neurology who was a pioneer in myelin neurochemistry, and in her retirement a docent at the Cantor Arts Center, Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and Memorial Church, died March 22.

Thomas Nelsen, a professor emeritus of surgery who conducted pioneering research in Hodgkin’s lymphoma, died March 17 in Idaho.


John Felstiner, professor emeritus of English and a recipient of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism, died Feb. 24 near Stanford.

Kenneth Arrow, the Joan Kenney Professor of Economics and Professor of Operations Research, Emeritus, who, along with British economist Sir John Hicks, won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1972 for his pioneering contributions to general equilibrium theory and welfare theory, died Feb. 21 in Palo Alto.

John Ross, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus and a recipient of the National Medal of Science, died Feb. 18 in Palo Alto.


George Houle, a professor emeritus of music who was a champion and scholar of early music, died Jan. 7 in Palo Alto.