WPI Mourns the Passing of Two Emeritus Trustees

February 05, 2013

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WPI noted the recent deaths of two former members of its Board of Trustees. John M. Nelson, who served as a trustee from 1986 to 2000, the last five years as board chairman, died on Jan. 21. William P. Densmore '45, a trustee from 1989 to 1995, passed away on Jan. 19.

Both men played notable roles in the economic and civic life of the greater Worcester community. Nelson was an astute leader who helmed some of the area's most important corporations, including Norton Company (now Saint-Gobain Abrasives), Wyman-Gordon, and TJX, through tumultuous times. He remained active in the community in retirement in service to a number of civic, healthcare, and cultural organizations.

Densmore spent nearly 40 years at Norton Company before taking early retirement. Before and after retiring he was deeply engaged in public service, helping advance education reform, cofounded the Worcester-based Center for Nonviolent Solutions, and helping found or serving as a director of over 25 educational, health, and community organizations.