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Northwestern Associate Dean Michael Dacey Dies at Age 74

January 2, 2007

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Michael F. Dacey of Evanston, senior associate dean at the Northwestern University Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, died Saturday (Dec. 23) at Evanston Hospital after a short illness. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 27 in Alice Millar Chapel, followed by a reception in Guild Lounge, Scott Hall.

Mr. Dacey, 74, who also served as professor of anthropology and geological sciences, joined the Northwestern faculty in 1964. He served as chair of the department of geography from 1976 to 1982 and was named associate dean at the Weinberg College in 1987 and senior associate dean in 1993.

He founded the Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences (MMSS) program in 1978 and taught in the program every year. The program enables a select group of high ability students to combine the study of social sciences - such as anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology -- with training in formal analytical methods to create a mathematical model.

Since the program's inception, Mr. Dacey and his wife Jeanette have held two parties in their home every year for MMSS students - one for entering students in the fall and one for graduating students and their parents in the spring. Prizes in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Dacey were established in 2004 to recognize the student with the best performance on a senior thesis and the student with the best performance in required coursework.

Mr. Dacey, who received a Distinguished Teaching Award in 1981, was the author of books, papers and reports in geography, geology, regional science, statistics, operations research, mathematics, urban planning, water resources and anthropology.

A native of Holyoke, Mass., Mr. Dacey attend Bates College and received a bachelor's degree in geography from the University of Kansas in 1954. He earned master's and Ph.D. degrees in geography from the University of Washington in 1955 and 1960, respectively. He then served as an assistant professor of regional science at the University of Pennsylvania from 1960 to 1964.

Mr. Dacey is survived by his wife, Jeanette; a daughter, Rachel Ann Niemann of Evanston; a granddaughter, Kayla; and a sister, Patricia Folsom of Maine.

Topics: People