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In Memoriam: History Professor Emeritus Bill Daniels

Release Date: 03-31-2010

Author: Eleanor M. Miller
Email: Eleanor.Miller@uvm.edu
Phone: Array Fax: (802) 656-3203

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Bill Daniels (Robert V. Daniels) died Sunday afternoon, March 28, 2010 at FAHC. The Daniels family has long been connected with UVM. Professor Daniels' grandfather, Archibald Lamont Daniels, was professor of Mathematics from 1885 to 1915 and his father, Robert Whiting Daniels, graduated from UVM in 1915. However, Bill received his B.A. from Harvard University in Economics in 1945, followed by his M.A and Ph.D. in History from that institution in 1947 and 1951 respectively. He was an Assistant Professor of Slavic Studies at Indiana University from 1953 to 1955 and joined the UVM faculty in 1956, rising to the rank of full professor in 1964. Bill "retired" from UVM in 1988, but remained very much an engaged scholar and active emeritus professor. From 1964 until 1969, Bill distinguished himself as an extraordinarily skilled chairperson of UVM's Department of History. Bill was active in the Vermont Democratic Party, serving as state senator from Chittenden County from 1973 to 1982 and senate minority leader in 1981-1982. Professor Daniels' accomplishments as a scholar were recognized in many ways; that recognition included a Guggenheim, a Kennan Fellowship, an SSRC Slavic Area Fellowship and several Rockefeller Foundation research awards. After his "retirement" he managed to write and publish five seminal books on Russian history, bringing to an even 20 the number of books he wrote during his long, productive academic career. The Robert V. Daniels Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of International Studies was created in the spring of 2004 to honor Robert V. "Bill" Daniels.

I last spoke to Bill at the recent Center for Vermont Studies event honoring former Governor Kunin. Although he had had a stroke and was scooting around in a wheelchair, he was smart and wry and self-deprecating. More than anything, he remained enormously interested in what was going on in the Department of History, the College and the University. My heart goes out to Bill's wife, Alice, and all who knew and loved this extraordinary man. He was an amazing person in every respect and will be greatly missed.

A memorial service for Professor Emeritus Robert V. (Bill) Daniels was held on Saturday, May 22, 2010, 10:00 am, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Church Street Burlington, Vermont. His family has requested that gifts in his memory be made to the Center for Research on Vermont Endowment Fund, c/o Development and Alumni Relations, Grasse Mount, 411 Main Street, Burlington, VT 05401.

Contact information for Mrs. Alice Daniels is as follows:

195 S. Prospect St. Burlington, VT 05401

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