Obituary: Bruce Wallin, NU professor

Bruce A. Wallin, of Jamaica Plain, aged 63, passed away on Dec. 29, 2011 after a short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Vickie and two daughters, Anne, 15, and Eva, 11, and a sister, Barbara Lynch.

He was born in Amsterdam, N.Y. In 1990, he moved to Boston to join the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University, after teaching at Cal State Fullerton and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and several years working at the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in Washington, D.C. He completed his undergraduate degree at Princeton University and his Ph.D. at the University of California-Berkeley.

He was a scholar in the field of public finance and an award-winning teacher. He taught hundreds of students, and remained in close contact with many through the years. His vibrant personality made his classes legendary, and his students soon learned that subjects such as public budgeting could be exciting areas of inquiry. He twice received the university’s prestigious Excellence in Teaching Award. He naturally connected with people. Friends and colleagues alike enjoyed his wit and warm, outgoing friendship. His writings in political science earned praise in academic and public affairs circles. His book on revenue sharing received an award from the American Political Science Association. He also completed studies for the Brookings Institution and Twentieth Century Fund. He taught and conducted research abroad as a Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic, a visiting faculty member at Meiji University in Tokyo, and at Thammasat University in Bangkok.

He was also well-known in his local community of Jamaica Plain as an active participant in civic life. He regularly provided commentary to local media outlets on local and national politics, volunteered as a youth soccer coach, and was the co-founder and leader of the West Roxbury Courthouse Neighborhood Association.

Service and burial were in Forest Hills Cemetery on Jan. 3.  A memorial service for the Northeastern community will be held at Northeastern University at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Northeastern University Political Science Gift Fund, and will be used for scholarship support for students. Donations can be sent to: Department of Political Science, 303 Meserve Hall, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115.

Bruce A. Wallin. (Courtesy Photo)

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