In Memoriam


Tony Bennett speaks at GW

Tony Bennett, HON ’01

July 21, 2023, 96

Tony Bennett was a 20-time Grammy Award-winning icon, best known for his jazz and pop tracks, such as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Bennett had strong ties to GW, a connection that spanned more than two decades. Notably, he introduced the nation to the award-winning “GW Presents American Jazz” broadcast, facilitating its creation and serving as the opening announcer each week. Bennett also frequented informal Sunday post-broadcast brunches to mingle with GW students and community members.

In 2001, Bennett received a Doctor of Music honorary degree from GW, and in 2015, the university awarded him and his wife, Susan Benedetto, the President’s Medal for championing the encouragement of arts in education because of its ability to bring people of different backgrounds and experiences together through the human experience. Bennett said receiving the medal was “a great experience in my life.”

Bennett sold 50 million records, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. His began his career in the late 1940s after serving in the United States Army during World War II, where he was stationed in Germany at the end of the war and aided the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp in Landsberg.

Frederick J. Brown Jr. (Jan. 25, 2023, 95) was a professor emeritus of education administration and chair of GW’s Doctoral Education Leadership Program from 1977 to 1989. Brown advised numerous doctoral candidates and international students and taught courses at the university’s Tidewater Center in Virginia. Before joining the faculty of GW, he served as associate state superintendent of schools for Maryland and served in various school administration roles throughout the state. 

Eileen J. Edgren, B.A. ’61, (March 15, 2023, 87) was an editor, writer and teacher for many decades. A technical translator of Russian and French, she taught at Mukogawa Women’s University of Spokane and the Economics Institute. She is survived by her two brothers, sister-in-law and cousin.

Roger O. Moore, B.A. ’60, M.A. ’64, (Oct. 6, 2022, 89) was a longtime civil servant, whose 39-year federal government career included 10 years at the Pentagon and a posting as an intelligence officer for the U.S.-Taiwan Defense Command in Taipei. Originally from Cincinnati, Moore moved to D.C. to attend GW in 1956 after serving in the U.S. Air Force. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in international relations from GW and was awarded a Wolcott Foundation Fellowship. He also earned an M.B.A. degree from Central Michigan University. Moore was a lifelong Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Reds fan as well as a 32nd degree Mason and Shriner. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Gretchen Taggart Moore, three daughters and seven grandchildren as well as a brother and nieces, nephews and cousins.

Alan S. Nadel, B.S. ’71, J.D. ’76, (June 13, 2023, 74) was an attorney specializing in patent and copyright law. During his time at GW, he captained the men’s crew team, becoming the first rower inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. After obtaining his J.D. from GW Law in 1976, he served as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves. Nadel’s career in intellectual property law included partnership in notable firms and procuring patents for iconic inventions, including the Super Soaker. He remained a devoted GW alumnus and served on the President’s Council for Arts and Sciences. He was also an active figure in the Philadelphia Intellectual Property Law Association. Nadel’s dedication extended to the Boy Scouts, Congregation Adath Jeshurun, and a passion for skiing and travel. He is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces and nephews.

Joseph Y. Ruth, B.A. ’49, (Sept. 2, 2023, 100) was the director of admissions and assistant vice president for academic affairs at GW for 30 years.

David I. Tossman, B.A. ’76, (Sept. 30, 2022, 68) was a podiatrist with more than 43 years of experience in the field of medicine. He was predeceased by his partner, Bruce J. Lipstein; his sister, Sherry Lynn Tossman; and his devoted parents, Minna and Leonard Tossman.

Thomas C. Wojtkowski Sr., B.S. ’52, (Aug. 1, 2023, 96) was a distinguished figure in Massachusetts politics and the legal community. After serving in the Navy during WWII, Wojtkowski pursued his education, earning degrees from Champlain College and GW, where he played violin in the university orchestra and was editor of the “Hatchet.” He went on to serve as a Massachusetts state representative from 1954 to 1972 and was instrumental in creating the community college system in the state. He also practiced law for five decades, providing invaluable counsel to clients. Beyond his professional achievements, Wojtkowski hosted the Polish-American Show on WBRK radio for nearly 30 years, a testament to his commitment to celebrating his rich cultural heritage as a Polish American. 

Virginia B.D. Young, MVC A.A. ’66, (July 30, 2023, 77) was an active Mount Vernon College alumna for many years, serving as chair of the MVC Annual Giving Campaign, president of the MVC Alumnae Association and a member of the MVC Board of Trustees. She went on to serve as chair of the Council for the Mount Vernon Campus of GW when Mount Vernon became a part of the GW in 1999. In 2001, Young became only the second woman to serve on the board of trustees of the Virginia Military Institute Foundation following the institute’s admission of women in 1997. Throughout her life, she volunteered, served and advocated for women and their access to educational opportunities.