Families and Colleagues of William F. Hoffmann and John R. Willertz
William S. Hoffman received his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and his M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. His area of specialty was American History. Dr. Hoffmann was affiliated with numerous professional associations and was a great advocate of Southern Poverty law watch. Dr. Hoffmann served in the U.S. Navy during World War II with Sea Bees. Dr. Hoffmann joined the SVSU faculty in 1964 and taught until his retirement in 1997. He authored books, articles, scholarly papers, and book reviews. Dr. Hoffmann passed away in 1997, shortly after his retirement. He was survived by his wife, Gloria, and two daughters.
John R. Willertz (pictured) received his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Detroit, and his Master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Dr. Willertz joined the SVSU faculty in 1968 and taught until his untimely death in 2002. Among Dr. Willertz’ many research and publication projects was a biography of on former Senator Philip A. Hart, a labor of love he worked on for many years. Dr. Willertz was very involved in political and civic activities. He was a Bay City Commissioner from 1971-1973, and mayor of Bay City from 1973-1979, during which time the Community Center was built and the Bay Metro Transit System was established. Dr. Willertz was survived by his wife, Jacqueline, and three children.
Dr. Hoffmann and Dr. Willertz are credited with founding the History Department at Saginaw Valley State University. The families, friends, and colleagues of Dr. Hoffmann and Dr. Willertz established the scholarship fund in 2002 to honor these professors’ exceptional contributions to their field and to SVSU students.