The United Board announces, with sadness, that its former trustee, Rev. Dr. William E. Lesher, passed away on January 23. Bill joined our Board of Trustees in 1997, the same year he retired as president of the Lutheran College of Theology at Chicago, and his service to our organization was just one of many ways in which he fulfilled his calling to be a global citizen. He was a tireless advocate for global interreligious dialogue, which he demonstrated most clearly through his engagement with the Parliament of the World’s Religions, serving as chair of its board of directors during its Barcelona Parliament in 2004 and its Melbourne Parliament in 2009. Bill’s contributions to the United Board took many forms, including building support for our programs through service on our Development Committee and sharing the insights he gleaned from his extensive international travels and conversations with religious leaders throughout the world.
We extend our condolences to Bill’s wife of 60 years, Jean, his sons David and Gregory, and his grandchildren.