Dr. William N. Dunn

May 16, 2022


On Monday May 16, 2022, Dr. William Newlin Dunn passed away peacefully in Pittsburgh, PA surrounded by his loving family after complications from lung cancer. He was 83 years of age.

Dr. Dunn is survived by his wife, Marianne Dunn; his children, Mark (Debbie) Dunn, Jennifer (Jeffrey) Bond, Ian (Marisol) Bush, Alexander (Alison) Dunn, Elizabeth (Thomas) Dunn-Taylor, Melissa (Robert) Mulholland and his brother-in-law James French. He was a cherished Papa to 18 grandchildren whom he loved dearly: Jakob Dunn, Makayla Mulholland, Maryn Hilliard, Anastasia Andrejchak, Julian Dunn, Hillary Bush, Ian Bush, Adam Dunn, Natalie Dunn, Ainsley Bond, Aiden Bond, Olivia Kailey, Bennett Kailey, Leonie Taylor, Lilly Taylor, Liam Taylor, Nicole Cummings and Courtney Quealy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles McKenzie Dunn and Elizabeth Newlin Dunn and his sister, Barbara Jean French.

Bill, as he was known to his friends and family, was born on August 17 in Monterey Park, CA. After graduating from high school, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army and earned a diploma in Russian language from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. He then went on to the Peace Corps, receiving a certificate in African Studies and French from the Peace Corps Training Program at the University of Massachusetts. Bill received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters and doctoral degrees from the Claremont Graduate School. Upon completion of his studies in 1969, he joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) where he spent the next 50 years teaching and conducting research on a wide range of topics on public policy analysis, research methods, and public administration. He was an interdisciplinary and globally respected scholar, broadly interested in the application of logic and reason to policy analysis, decision making, and public discourse. He collaborated with and was admired by accomplished scholars in fields such as political science, philosophy of science, economics, sociology, public health, systems theory, and business.

Dr. Dunn also served in a variety of leadership and administrative capacities in GSPIA including Associate Dean (twice) and Director of the Doctoral Studies program. He retired from the University of Pittsburgh as Professor Emeritus in 2020 yet continued to share his wisdom and time with students, public agencies, and colleagues. Professor Dunn was particularly committed to mentoring doctoral students; he personally supervised the completion of more than sixty doctoral theses, earning him special recognition from the University of Pittsburgh for his mentoring accomplishments and the enduring affection and gratitude of generations of students who benefitted from his guidance. He is the author of 100 books, edited volumes, book chapters, articles, and government reports. His work is recognized and cited around the world.

Although Bill’s professional accomplishments are many, it was the way he did his work that truly distinguished him. He consistently challenged the status quo, developing new concepts and ways of thinking while cultivating lasting relationships with colleagues, students, family, and strangers alike. Through this approach he created a vast network; a community of practice that extended through the professional and personal passions of mentoring students, collaborating on research, coaching youth soccer, being a supportive father and loving husband.

Bill’s travels and work took him around the world, to dozens of different countries. He lived the international relations curriculum he taught; theory was born out of practice. Bill would never miss the opportunity to weave himself into the fabric of the culture he was visiting.

A life-long soccer enthusiast, Bill helped coach youth teams for decades and was a devoted fan of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. However, he was the biggest fan of watching his grandchildren play soccer. You could always find him on the sidelines cheering on his grandkids on the weekends, attending every game he could. As said before, Bill was a part of the Peace Corps where he taught Track & Field in Senegal. This inspired Bill to become a Master Athlete and later in his life he competed in the Senior Olympics in both shotput and discus, placing nationally. Lastly, Bill’s athletic pursuits extended outdoors where he enjoyed any kind of fishing (but especially for trout, pike, and salmon) and keeping pace with his kids while hiking, backpacking, and sea kayaking in places like Glacier National Park in Montana and Denali State Park in Alaska.

Bill will be deeply missed by many, but his legacy will live on through the countless lives he touched.

Friends will be received at John A. Freyvogel Sons, Inc. ( 4900 Centre Avenue at Devonshire Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 on Wednesday May 18from 6-8 pm and Thursday May 19 from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm.  A funeral service is scheduled for Friday May 20 at East Liberty Presbyterian Church at 11:00 AM followed by interment at Allegheny Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community, a local non-profit organization that aims to provide children in at-risk communities with access to tuition free soccer programs at\donate.


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May 18, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
John A Freyvogel Sons, Inc (Centre Avenue, Devonshire Street)

May 19, 2022

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
John A Freyvogel Sons, Inc (Centre Avenue, Devonshire Street)

May 19, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
John A Freyvogel Sons, Inc (Centre Avenue, Devonshire Street)

Funeral Service
May 20, 2022

11:00 AM
East Liberty Presbyterian Church (Allegheny Cemetery)

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