In Memory: Amb. William J. Hughes, 1932 - 2019
John Froonjian, Ed.D., Executive Director
The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy and Stockton University mourn the passing of Ambassador William J. Hughes
The passing of Ambassador Bill Hughes is a sad loss for me personally and for our democratic society at large. South Jersey, and indeed the nation, has lost a great statesman. His story is forever tied to the recent history of this region. As our 2nd District representative, Congressman Hughes was a leader on the environment, ocean quality, pinelands preservation, and keeping what is now the William J. Hughes Technical Center from moving to Oklahoma. He was a national leader on legislation concerning guns, crime, aging issues and trademark and copyright law. But the most powerful lesson in today’s era of political tribalism and partisan warfare may be that politicians could be civil and bipartisan and still be effective.
He treated everyone regardless of party with courtesy and respect, and his gentlemanly approach helped improve many lives. It is no wonder President Bill Clinton relied on Ambassador Hughes’ diplomatic skills to prepare a smooth transfer of the Panama Canal to Panamanian control. His decency and advocacy of South Jersey endeared him to countless people in this region.
The Hughes Center for Public Policy mourns the passing of our namesake, our mentor and our friend. We rededicate our efforts to promote civic engagement and civility in our public conversations to the memory of Ambassador Hughes.