William Hubbard

Lives Lived

In Memoriam: William Hubbard, M.D.

Winter 2019
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William N. Hubbard Jr., M.D, dean of the U-M Medical School from 1959 to 1970, died Nov. 12, 2018, at age 99. Hubbard was one of the nation’s youngest medical school deans upon his appointment at age 39, and was the school’s first full-time dean without private practice and departmental administration responsibilities.

During his tenure, he reorganized policies and practices, emphasizing the importance of translating medical research advances into educational programs for students and practicing physicians. He was successful in involving the entire faculty in the affairs of the school, and aimed to provide leadership that would help students and faculty work more effectively. He also directed a $33.5 million program to remodel existing buildings and construct new ones at the Medical School.

In 1969, he became the first Medical School dean to also have responsibility for directing the medical center. He stepped down in 1970 to become vice president and later president of the Upjohn Company. Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Ford appointed him to national boards, including his 1974 appointment to the board of the National Science Foundation. 

Hubbard maintained close ties with the U-M Medical School and returned to campus for commencement exercises well into his 90s.