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Memoir

William Raymond Leslie
Regents' Proceedings 1147

Professor William R Leslie has retired from active faculty status as of May 31, 1978, after a productive career.

He graduated from the Literary College of The University of Michigan in 1931 and from the Michigan Law School in 1934. He practiced law, 1934-39, before deciding on an academic career. He received a master's degree in 1940 from the University of Arizona and the Ph.D. in history from Michigan in 1945.

Dr. Leslie was a teaching fellow in history at Michigan, 1942-43; an instructor, 1943-44; a Horace H. Rackham Pre-doctoral Fellow in history, 1944-45; an instructor in history, 1945-48; an assistant professor, 1949-52; associate professor, 1952-61; professor, 1961 to retirement. He has taught courses in American constitutional history, and Church and State in Anglo-American Society.

In both ideals and practice, Professor Leslie's scholarship is considered of the highest rank. He is particularly interested in the logic of history and was tireless in his search for pertinent source materials and in their evaluation. It was his interest in historical research, and particularly in the history of the concept of property, which prompted him to give up a successful law practice in order to enter upon study for the doctorate. His peers consider Professor Leslie's publications to be of an unusually high quality of scholarship.

Professor Leslie was a born teacher. He was deeply interested in students and derived lively satisfaction from observing their intellectual growth. Thanks to his training in law, he was especially useful in pre-legal training; and students from the Law School give glowing accounts of the usefulness of his English Constitutional History course in furnishing a background for their courses in law. The graduate students in history also spoke in highest terms of the exceptional training Professor Leslie has given them. In the student questionnaires, comments on Dr. Leslie's teaching were particularly impressive in their universally laudatory and enthusiastic tone. He directed many dissertations over the years at the University.

His name was submitted by the Department for the Henry Russel Award three successive years 1950, 1951, 1952-and is an indication of the esteem his colleagues held for his teaching and scholarship.

The Regents now salute this distinguished educator by naming him Professor Emeritus of History.