William J. Bakrow

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Dr. William J. Bakrow, Ph.D.
Born April 22, 1923
Rochester, New York, USA
Died March 17, 2005
Rockport, Massachusetts, USA
Nationality American
Known for President of St. Ambrose College, Davenport, Iowa

William J. Bakrow (April 22, 1923 – March 17, 2005) was the 11th president of St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa from 1973 to 1987.


Early life & Education

Bakrow was born in Rochester, New York to Leonard and Edith (Adler) Bakrow. He was educated at Harley High School in Rochester. He earned his bachelor's degree from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island and his doctorate in education from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. During World War II he served in the United States Army. After the war he worked as a correspondent for United Press in the Philippines. He married Maree (Walsh) Bakrow and they parented three children. [1]

Academic Career

Dr. Bakrow helped establish the Motorola Executive Institute in Tucson, Arizona in 1964, where he served as its executive director until 1973. In June of the same year he was named the first lay person to serve as president of St. Ambrose College. [2]

During his 15 years at St. Ambrose he was referred to as "Dollar Bill," as he wiped out the schools $2 million debt, doubled enrollment, and balanced the budget for eight consecutive years. During his presidency St. Ambrose began graduate studies with the Masters of Business Administration program. At the end of his term as president St. Ambrose College became St. Ambrose University.[3]

Later life & death

When he retired from St. Ambrose in 1987 he moved to Rockport, Massachusetts. He spent a year as the interim president of Montserrat College of Art, and served on the Rockport Finance Committee and Planning Board. He died in Rockport on March 17, 2005 at the age of 81. His funeral was held in St. Joachim's Church and he was buried in Beech Grove Cemetery, both in Rockport. [1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Dr. William J. Bakrow (obituary)". Quad-City Times. Retrieved 2010-07-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Schmidt, Madeleine M. (1981). Seasons of Growth: History of the Diocese of Davenport. Davenport, Iowa: Diocese of Davenport. p. 302.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Past Presidents". St. Ambrose University. Retrieved 2010-07-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sebastian Menke
President of St. Ambrose University
Succeeded by
Edward Rogalski