Dean William Sandler says goodbye

Dean of Students William W. Sandler, Jr., who has served as an advisor, mediator and friend to students throughout his 43 years at UM, announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the school year.

In his years at the University, Sandler has seen both the school and the city grow, recalling days when only stop signs were required to cross U.S.1, Interstate-95 didn’t even exist, and campus life was full of student unrest and the tumult of major hurricanes.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes since ’62,” Sandler said. “They’ve all been great things. The University has become great and well-respected in those years. I’ve seen the University students excel and had many friends who graduated from here who continue to stay in contact.”

Originally from Sunbury, Penn., Sandler attended Mansfield University and Pennsylvania State University, where he studied education and counseling psychology. He first came to the University in 1962 as Counselor for Men. Over the years, Sandler served as Dean of Men, Assistant Dean of Men, Dean of Student Personnel and Associate Dean of Students. He has been Dean of Students since 1989.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with him,” Gregory R. Singleton, associate dean of students, said. “He’s been not just a wonderful role model for students but also faculty, staff and administrator throughout the years,” he added, noting Sandler’s patience, understanding and empathy with others.

Students’ feelings of sadness when they heard of Sandler’s retirement stood as a testament to his impact.

“I’ve been working [at the dean of students’ office] for about a month. He’s always in such a good mood,” Alessandra Gia, freshman, said. “I’m going to miss seeing him around.”

In 2001, Sandler was named ACPA Diamond Honoree and awarded the Lambda Chi Alpha Order of Merit. His past recognitions also include the Panhellenic Council Administrator of the Year Award and the National Lambda Chi Alpha Award for Distinguished Service.

“I’ve learned a lot from Dean Sandler,” Dr. Pat Whitely, vice president for Student Affairs, said. “It’s been a great privilege for me to work with him for my entire career since I’ve been at UM. We will definitely miss all his wisdom.”

“This will be the sad part, leaving and not being able to work with all these good friends,” Sandler said.

“I can’t say that I have any plans except retirement and working with my wife, enjoying a little golf, a little tennis and free time-get the reading done I haven’t done in all these years,” he said.

Sandler will retire in July 2006. The University will begin a national search in October and name his successor in the Spring.

Natalia Maldonado can be contacted at