Remembering Bill Shipley


William F. Shipley

November 19, 1921 - January 20, 2011

william_shipley_fest william_shipley_kenny_holbrook william_shipley_group william_shipley Hancibyjim

Bill Shipley came to UCSC in 1966, in the very early days of the campus, to found the Linguistics program, which he led as chair until 1980. For those of us who came after that time, i.e. all the remaining faculty, and several generations of undergraduate and graduate students, he remained the most delightful senior colleague we could wish for: an unfailingly cheerful, unfailingly supportive teacher, mentor, and companion, whose simple joy in the pursuit of understanding of language, particularly the Maidu language, was a model for all of us. Bill devoted many decades to the study of Maidu, and was for awhile the only living speaker of the language, until with his customary generosity, he began to pass it on to young descendants of the original speakers. We miss him deeply.

Students, Colleagues, Friends Remember Bill

Bill Shipley was my first linguistics professor, my first advisor and mentor, my first academic collaborator, and my dear, dear friend. Bill was also the person I always wanted to be when I grew up... Read more →

– Eric Baković

... [Bill] helped me develop a deep interest in and love for the subject, and he also inculcated in me a respect for the complexity and richness of the American Indian languages on which he worked, including Maidu... Read more →

– John Rickford