William "Bill" Fitzgerald

Message from the President 

 Oct. 3, 2013

 Dear LMU Community:

It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Bill Fitzgerald, an emeritus professor of political science, inaugural member of LMU’s Faculty Hall of Fame and former chair of the Political Science Department. Bill, who was 87 years old, passed away Wednesday at his home in Pasadena.

During his more than 40 years at LMU, Bill became a beloved and monumental figure on campus. As the founder of LMU’s modern political science department, he created an academic space that was, in the words of a colleague, “friendly, supportive, collegial, caring, and kind.”  He chaired the department for 20 years and was particularly proud of his course, The Introduction to Constitutional Law, as well as a political film seminar that he continued to teach in his retirement. In 1996, he funded a scholarship to support minority and women students at LMU as a response to anti-immigrant and anti-affirmative action politics in California.

A veteran of World War II, Bill earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Loyola University in 1948 and his Ph.D. from Georgetown University in 1954. Following his retirement from teaching, Professor Fitzgerald continued to serve the university as a member of the advisory board for the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and the Board of Trustees' Committee on Catholic Mission and Identity.

There will be a service in Sacred Heart Chapel at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19.  He is survived by 11 children, 18 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. His wife, Martha Goldbach Fitzgerald ’77, died in 1999.  The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: William F. Fitzgerald Scholarship, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, University Hall Suite 2800, Los Angeles 90045-2659, Attn: Alma Vorst.

 Bill was a special person and will be greatly missed.  Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


David W. Burcham