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March 16, 2010, Volume 56, No. 25

Dr. Foote, Dental Medicine


Dr. Joseph Foote, a member of the Penn Dental Medicine community, died February 26 at the age of 61 of cutaneous t-cell lymphoma.

A native of New York, Dr. Foote received a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. He earned his DMD degree from Penn Dental Medicine in 1974 and completed his postdoctoral residency in oral surgery there in 1980. Five years later he earned a medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania and then completed his residency at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

He joined the faculty of the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery in 1986 and had held the position of clinical associate professor since 2001. He also served as chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (from 1989 to 2010) and chief of the oral and maxillofacial surgery service at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center (from 1989 to 2010).

According to Penn Dental Medicine, “Dr. Foote was held in high regard by his students, residents, and fellow faculty. During his 30-year career, hundreds of dentists and physicians referred complex patients to him. He was nationally recognized for his particular expertise in microsurgical repair of maxillofacial nerve injuries. He was clearly the ‘doctor of last resort’ for patients with debilitating facial pain, who relied on him for his technical skill, but also for his never-ending benevolence and empathy. He championed care for those less fortunate and no patient was ever denied his skill and care regardless of circumstances.” Most recently, Dr. Foote was among the 206 “Top Dentists” named by Philadelphia magazine. 

Dr. Foote is survived by his wife, Susan and brother-in-law, Dr. Peter Quinn, professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery; sons, Joe, D’10, Travis and Conor; daughters, Catherine (C’00, D’04, GD’06), Emily, Meredith, and Amanda; his father, Joseph W. Foote, Sr.; and his siblings, Donna, Brian, Sharon, Denise, Colleen, Patti, and Michele along with many nieces and nephews.

Contributions may be made in his memory to a charity of individual choosing. A guestbook can be signed at the Chadwick & McKinney Funeral Home site, www.chadwickmckinney.com.


Emeritus Trustee Bruce J. Graham 


Bruce J. Graham, the pioneering architect who designed America’s tallest skyscraper, in Chicago, died on March 6 at the age of 84 at his home in Hobe Sound, Florida, from complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease. He was an Emeritus Trustee.

Born in La Cumbre, Colombia, Mr. Graham, Ar’48, was one of this country’s most celebrated architects of skyscrapers, including landmarks such as Chicago’s John Hancock Building and the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower, which until 1996, stood as the tallest building in the world. Though his designs produced many of Chicago’s most iconic landmark structures, he also had a profound influence on that city’s urban planning and design. He was dedicated to architecture within the context of urban design and championed public art in the city. His work also can be seen in other cities throughout the world, including London, Barcelona, Seoul, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Mr. Graham shared his time and his architectural talents with the University. He became a term trustee in 1981, serving on the Academic Policy Committee and the Facilities and Campus Planning Committee. He served for 10 years as chairman of the Board of Overseers of the School of Design, where he and his wife funded the Bruce J. and Jane J. Graham Professorship in Architecture. He was later named chairman emeritus in recognition of his many contributions to the School. He was an advisor on many important building projects at Penn and helped to provide the impetus for the University’s most recent campus master-planning framework.

Mr. Graham spent close to 40 years at the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), where he was named Partner in Charge of Design in 1960. Retiring from SOM in 1989, he founded the firm of Graham and Graham Architecture and Interior Design.

Mr. Graham’s professional and volunteer commitments were extensive. He was an honorary trustee of the Institute of Urbanism and Planning of Peru, a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He served as a trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for American Architecture at Columbia University, Northwestern University Memorial Hospital, and the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia. He was past president of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Central Area Committee, a member of the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and a trustee of the Urban Land Institute. 

He received numerous awards throughout his lifetime including the National American Institute of Architects First Honor Awards for the BMA Building in Kansas City and the Banco Del Occidente in Guatemala and the 25-year Award for the Inland Steel Building in Chicago. He received Distinguished Building Awards from the Chicago Chapter of the AIA for several projects, as well as the Gold Medallion Award for his design for Chicago’s International Visitors Center.

He is survived by his children, Lisa, C’84, Mara, C’86 and George, C’82.


Dr. LaFleur, East Asian Languages and Civilizations


Dr. William R. LaFleur, professor of Japanese, and East Asian languages and civilizations, passed away from a massive heart attack on February 26. He was 73 years old.

Born in Patterson, New Jersey in 1936, Dr. LaFleur began his higher education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and continued with graduate training at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago. Dr. LaFleur taught as an authority on Japanese intellectual history at Princeton University, the University of California at Los Angeles, and Sophia University in Tokyo. In 1989 he became the first non-Japanese scholar to receive the Watsuji Tetsur? Culture Prize.

 In 1990 he came to the University of Pennsylvania as professor of Japanese and the Joseph B. Glossberg Term Chair Professor of Humanities. Since 1998 Dr. LaFleur served as the E. Dale Saunders Professor in Japanese Studies in the department of East Asian languages and civilizations, and also as a professor in the department of religious studies.

Dr. LaFleur’s published books covered topics from medieval literature in Mirror of the Moon (1978) and Awesome Nightfall (2003), both studies of the priest-poet Saigy? (1118-1180). Other works covered broader issues of religious thought, including The Karma of Words (1986) and Buddhism in Cultural Perspective (1988). He dealt with complicated issues of abortion in Liquid Life (1992). He edited Zen and Western Thought: Essays by Masao Abe (1985), recipient of a prize from the American Academy of Religion, and D?gen Studies (1985). He also edited Dark Medicine: Rationalizing Unethical Medical Research (2008), a study on Japanese critics of American biotechnology and bioethics.

His department noted that, “As a gifted poet and philosopher, Dr. LaFleur brought humanity and wisdom to the study of everything he encountered, from the taste of tea to the technology of medicine, from hungry ghosts to haiku poets. His students, colleagues, friends and family will miss him immensely.”

Dr. LaFleur is survived by his wife, Mariko; his son, David; and daughters, Jeanmarie and Kiyomi.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 3, (changed from April 4) at 11 a.m.-noon at the Radnor Friends Meetinghouse with a reception to follow at The Willows in Villanova.

Please see the links below for both the Meetinghouse and The Willows: www.quaker.org/radnor/index.html, www.radnor.com/egov/apps/locations/facilities.egov?path=detail&id=1

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to The Meadow Project, Radnor Religious Society of Friends, P.O. Box 8196, Radnor, PA 19087.

Since parking space at the Meetinghouse is limited, the family asks attendees to park at The Willows. It is a four-minute drive from there to the Meetinghouse. The family is looking into shuttle bus service.


To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136 or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.


Almanac - March 16, 2010, Volume 56, No. 25