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Dr. William G. Rothstein, longtime UMBC faculty member dies

Dr. William G. Rothstein, a founding faculty member of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County who served for nearly five-decade the department of sociology, anthropology and public health, and was an author and expert in the history of medicine in the United States, died at Madonna Heritage Assisted Living Home in Jarrettsville of complications from a stroke. He was 83.

“It’s so easy to talk about Bill Rothstein,” said Freeman A. Hrabowski III, who is president of UMBC since 1992.

“He was one of the founding faculty members of UMBC, and came here when the doors opened in 1966, and was a man who had superb qualifications,” Dr. Hrabowski said. “He was the consummate educator.”

William Gene Rothstein, son of Meyer Rothstein, owner of a scrap metal business, and his wife, Bertha Ann Rothstein, a homemaker, was born and raised in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he graduated in 1955 from Crosby High School.

Professor Rothstein earned a bachelor’s degree in 1959 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1961, and his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1965 from Cornell University.

He served from 1964 to 1966 as a research analyst for Prudential Financial Inc. in Newark, New Jersey, then joined the UMBC faculty.

Professor Rothstein was promoted to associate professor in 1969 and to full professor in 1988. In addition to his classroom work, as director of the master’s program in applied sociology, he worked on a one-to-one basis helping them select courses, develop research interests and plan for careers.

“His support and encouragement of these students made him a beloved part of their UMBC experience,” according to a biographical profile submitted by his family.

Described as being a thoughtful and compassionate mentor, he remained connected to his students long after their graduation and closely followed their careers. He shared dinners, lunches, trips to the symphony, emails and phone calls with them.

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