Jan. 3, 2007
William C. Meinhofer, founding director in 2001 of the College's Community-Based Learning Program, died Jan. 3 at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, at 60.
As director of the Donelan Office of Community-Based Learning at Holy Cross, Mr. Meinhofer had coordinated academic internships for students with municipal and social service agencies in the Greater Worcester area as well as nonprofit organizations. Approximately 25 percent of Holy Cross students take part in this program each year, serving with a variety of community associations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Massachusetts / Metrowest, the AIDS Project, Worcester; the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester; the Great Brook Valley Health Center; the local chapter of the American Red Cross; Abby's House; and the Massachusetts Audubon Society.
Mr. Meinhofer worked with faculty, students and public service organizations to facilitate community-based learning courses across the College curriculum; as a result, more than 20 percent of the faculty have taught courses in the program since its inception. He had also offered several classes, such as Introduction to Community Organizing; Latinos in the United States; and Special Projects on Community and Urban Studies.
A member of the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Massachusetts, the Worcester Working Coalition for Latino Students, and the Henry Lee Willis Community Center, Mr. Meinhofer was the founding chairman of the Community Engagement Committee of the Colleges of Worcester Consortium.
Prior to his work at Holy Cross, he had held the post of director of the Media Research and Action Project at Boston College, where he had also taught undergraduate courses in sociology. A 1994 graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Boston, Mr. Meinhofer had received his Ph.D. in sociology from Boston College in 2001.
Founding executive director of La Sociedad Latina, Inc., he had worked as well for the Boys & Girls Club of Boston and El Centrol de Cardenal of the South End — an agency of the Boston Archdiocese; additional community involvement included the development of many programs geared for the children and youth of the city of Boston.
From 1988-90, Mr. Meinhofer had served as the director of the National Hispanic Family Against Drug Abuse. Also, during his career, he had been a member of many agency boards in Boston — and, of several gubernatorial and mayoral advisory boards.
Mr. Meinhofer is survived by three sons; a daughter; a brother; a sister; five grandchildren; and two nieces.