The following faculty from the Department of Politics and Government have passed away in recent years: Thomas Dwight Wilson, Walter Bruce “Wally” Mead, John A. Gueguen Jr., Richard J. Payne, & Fred Roberts.
This text draws heavily on Professors Mead’s and Gueguen’s obituaries and Professor Wilson’s biography, which was made available at his celebration of life.
Thomas Dwight Wilson, an emeritus faculty in the Department of Politics and Government, died October 31, 2017.
He received a master’s degree at the University of Illinois in August 1960 and taught at Thornridge High School in 1960-1961 before joining the faculty at Illinois State University in 1961, where he taught until his retirement in 1992, receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 1975.
Wilson’s areas of teaching and research included state and local government, urban politics, and public administration. He was deeply committed to the internship program, served as the public service internship coordinator, and established a scholarship to support interns. Wilson and his wife, Kay Wilson, were inducted into the Illinois State University College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2012.
Wilson was deeply involved in the community. Following his retirement, He Wilson was active in the ISU Annuitants Association, served as chair of the SUAA Legislative Committee, and received an ISUAA Achievement Award in 2003.
Walter Bruce “Wally” Mead, an emeritus faculty in the Department of Politics and Government, died August 8, 2018.
After receiving a doctorate in political science from Duke University in 1963, Mead taught at Lake Forest College from 1963 to 1967 before joining the faculty at Illinois State University, where he taught from 1967 to 1995.
Mead was involved in the political science profession in many ways, including serving in leadership roles in a number of professional associations. He received awards from the Lilly Foundation, Earhart Foundation, Rockefeller Theological Foundation, and George Baker Foundation.
In addition, Mead was very politically involved in a variety of ways, advocating for civil rights, and serving on the McLean County Board. Mead also served the community in a variety of roles.
John A. Gueguen Jr. died December 14, 2018, after suffering a heart attack. He was living at the Wespine Study Center in Kirkwood, Missouri, at the time.
Gueguen came to Illinois State University in 1972 and taught courses in political theory and philosophy after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Gueguen’s primary achievement at Illinois State was in researching and teaching political thought and great books courses, as supplemented by informal discussions with students and conference papers for colleagues. He participated in a dozen professional associations and published frequent articles and book reviews.
Gueguen devoted 24 years to the intellectual and personal formation of several thousand students and formed many lifetime friendships. In 1981 he delivered the Arts and Sciences Lecture. He retired in 1996.
Richard J. Payne, an emeritus professor in the Department of Politics and Government, died January 4, 2019. He was living in Anguilla at the time of his death.
Payne received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Howard University in 1973 and 1975, respectively. He was the department’s first Distinguished Professor, the highest honor bestowed upon faculty at Illinois State University. Payne was an exceptional scholar who published 11 books with prestigious publishers among them, a book on global issues with Professor Emeritus Jamal Nassar that was adopted worldwide for classroom use and went into five editions.
In 1992 Payne delivered the Arts and Sciences lecture on “Culture and Force in Foreign Policy.” He was also a Ford Foundation Fellow and a Fulbright-Hays Fellow in his career.
Additionally, Payne served on the executive council of the American Political Science Association, the largest association within the discipline. He also served as an advisor to the PBS documentary on Alexander Hamilton, “The American Experience: Alexander Hamilton”.
Payne devoted 33 years to Illinois State University, retiring December 31, 2008.
Frederick Roberts, an emeritus professor in the department passed away on February 26, 2019 in Normal, IL.
Dr. Roberts came to Illinois State University in 1968 from Princeton University where he earned both his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Political Science. Immediately upon entering Illinois State, Dr. Roberts developed a new course on collective decision-making which he taught until his retirement in 2000. He also was an innovator and created a legislative simulation that was used as a teaching device in American Government introductory courses as well as courses on Congress.
By 1969-70, Dr. Roberts served as the Graduate Director where he both recruited and advised students. He also developed a very popular graduate seminar on Games and Simulations which was interdisciplinary in nature. At that time, the Graduate Director also served on every thesis committee. He also taught the Political Inquiry class required for all majors.
His publications were largely in the areas of collective decision-making and experimental simulations in the discipline. Later in his career, his focus shifted to book reviews and select publications on bureaucratic decision-making.