William G. Cole, 93, passed away on January 25, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois after a short illness. Born on March 7, 1917, he attended the Mt. Hermon School and Columbia University and received his PhD from the Union Theological Seminary where he studied with Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich. After serving churches in Cleveland and New York City, he became Chaplain and Professor of Religion at Smith College. In 1952, he took these same roles at Williams College where he also chaired the Religion Department and served as Dean of Freshmen. In 1960, he was appointed the ninth President of Lake Forest College and presided over an impressive building program and launched innovative academic reforms. After leaving the college in 1970, he led both the Chicago Council of Foreign Relations and Nasson College in Maine. During his career, he authored 3 books: Sex in Christianity and Psychoanalysis (1955), Sex and Love in the Bible (1959) and The Restless Quest of Modern Man (1966). His wife, Doris Elinor Williams, from whom he was divorced, predeceased him in 2009, but he leaves behind three sons, W. Graham Cole, Jr. of Lawrenceville, NJ, Edward M. Cole of Lake Bluff, IL, and Stephen S. Cole of Wilmette, IL and six grandchildren. There will be a private family service at a date in the future. Donations in his memory can be made to the Mt. Hermon School, One Lamplighter Way, Mt. Hermon, MA 01354 or Lake Forest College, 555 North Sheridan Rd., Lake Forest, IL 60045. Information: Heritage Cremation, Ltd. 800-936-1414.
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Published in Chicago Tribune on Feb. 9, 2011.