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Werner W. Boehm

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Werner W. Boehm Obituary
Werner W. Boehm

AGE: 98 • New Brunswick

Werner W. Boehm was born in Germany and was educated in France, receiving his first doctorate in law from the University of Dijon in 1937. That same year, he emigrated to the United States and worked in Alabama as a High School teacher of French, Latin and Social Studies. He attended Tulane University starting in 1939 and earned a Master's degree in Social Work in 1941. Before beginning his long and illustrious career in social work education, Boehm worked in social welfare agencies in Boston and New York, and also served in the U. S. Army. After WW II, he taught at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota, and came to Rutgers University where he served as Dean of the School of Social Work from 1963-1972. During his tenure as Dean, Dr. Boehm brought the School to national prominence by adding the bachelor and doctoral programs in Social Work. At the conclusion of his Deanship, he served as Director for the Center for International Cooperative Social Welfare at Rutgers University from 1973 to 1981. He continued to lecture in France and Germany through 1985, devoting his last professional activity to preparing Social Work for the challenges of the future.

Dr. Boehm enjoyed a varied and highly respected career as a practitioner, academic administrator, and scholar, and for almost half a century he provided leadership to Social Work education. He is best known for having directed a landmark study on Social Work curriculum development for the Council on Social Work Education from 1955-1960. Many of the findings and recommendations of that Study have relevance for Social Work education in the new millennium. In addition to his books, monographs, and more than one hundred papers, Dr. Boehm served as Editor of the Journal of International Social Work and the Harper and Row Social Work series. He also served as a Social Work Specialist for the U.S. State Department, providing consultation to the United Nations in the U.S., Europe and South America.

Dr. Boehm was the recipient of many awards and honors, including a Fulbright award (1969), the Rutgers Medal (1983), the National Association of Social Work's Social Worker of the Year (1983), an honorary doctorate from the Tulane University School of Social Work (1992) and the Council on Social Work Education's Significant Lifetime Achievement award (1995).

Dr. Boehm is survived by his current wife, Laurie H. Boehm of New Brunswick, NJ, his brother, Dr. Eric Boehm of Santa Barbara, California, his nephews, Ronald and Steven Boehm of Santa Barbara, California, and his cousins, Harold and Millicent May of Englewood Cliffs, NJ and Hilde and Gunter Hahn of Sao Paulo, Brazil. His previous wife, Dr. Bernice Boehm, died in 1983 and their son, Andrew Boehm, died in 2010.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Rutgers University School of Social Work - Boehm Scholarship Fund - New Brunswick, NJ.

Published in Home News Tribune on Oct. 20, 2011
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