Former IT associate dean remembered for Weisman fund raising

Shepherd started a lab that became a base of international research.

by Jessica Weaver

William Shepherd, former electrical engineering department head, died Friday. He was 92.

A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Weisman Art Museum, a building Shepherd helped bring to the University.

A University alumnus, Shepherd returned to the University after working at Bell Telephone Laboratory in New York. In 1947 he began his career as a professor of electrical engineering.

“Dr. Shepherd came to the department at a time when pretty much the whole field of electrical engineering was modernizing to a much more scientific field,” electrical engineering department head Mos Kaveh said.

In his time at the University, Shepherd started a physical electronics lab that became the base for research, both in Minnesota and internationally.

Shepherd not only made a number of contributions to research at the University but also served as Institute of Technology associate dean. From 1963-1973 he served as vice president for academic affairs at the University.

Professionally, he made a number of contributions to his field. He was president of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest recognition for engineers.

Following Shepherd’s retirement, he served the University in fund-raising efforts for the Weisman Art Museum.

“(Shepherd) was interested in seeing a world-class museum at the University,” his son Bill said.

“He had a really broad view of what education was about,” Weisman Art Museum director Lyndel King said. “He really understood education is about more than being trained in a single discipline.”