Bill is from the MlT class of 1956. He and his late wife Betsy, a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono, have been active members of the MIT community for over fifty years.
Bill and Betsy have generously donated both time and funds in support many MIT community programs. A longtime supporter of The Technology and Culture Forum at MIT (T&C), Bill is currently a member of its Steering Committee. Sponsoring lectures and symposium that explore the role of science and technology in promoting positive social, ecological, and economic change, T&C aims to stimulate discussion about the ethical implications of scientific discovery and technological innovation.
Bill and Betsy have also provided support for other student-oriented MIT projects, including the MIT International Development Network.
William R. '56 and Betsy P. Leitch Professorship
Since its inception in 2002, the financial resources to support the Simmons Resident Scholar program have been provided by a scholarly allowance associated with the William R. '56 and Betsy P. Leitch Professorship. This chair is currently held by Simmons Head of House, Professor John M. Essigmann. The Simmons Hall community is indebted to the Leitch family for their generous support of this program. It also deeply appreciates their participation in many of the programs supported by their donations, including Simmons events associated with the 2009 visit by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
For over forty years, Bill worked in business and technical publishing, researching and writing about topics ranging from auto safety and noise pollution to Internet business models and computer privacy at McGraw Hill, Business Week, and International Data's computer research services.
Bill serves on the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee on Student Life and on Steering Committee for The Technology and Culture Forum at MIT. He has long been an active member of the MIT Alumni Association and continues to volunteer his time and effort toward MIT Alumni programs and activities.
Betsy passed away in September of 2015.