William Newman

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

William M. Newman


Syracuse University, BA 1965

Syracuse University, MA  1967

Graduate Faculty, New School for Social Research, PhD 1970

Theta Chi Beta Honorary Society, Syracuse University

Hiram Halle Fellow, Graduate Faculty, 1967-1969

Fellow, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion




William Newman served on the University of Connecticut sociology faculty from 1969 to 1997. His teaching specialties included large sections of Introduction to Sociology, undergraduate honors courses (for many years he was the sociology department’s honors advisor), and graduate seminars. His teaching and scholarship were focused on social theory, the sociology of religion, and intergroup relations.


His earliest book publications were American Pluralism: A Study of Minority Groups and Social Theory (1973) and The Social Meanings of Religion (1974). In the early 1970s he formed a research partnership with University of Connecticut geographer Peter L. Halvorson. Newman and Halvorson were awarded the first ever National Science Foundation sociology program grant at the University of Connecticut, and over a period of 20 plus years, they co-authored a series of books on the social geography of American religious groups. These include Atlas of Religious Change in America, 1952-1971 (1978), Patterns in Pluralism; A Portrait of American Religion (1980), Atlas of Religious Change in America, 1971-1980 (1987), Atlas of Religious Change in America, 1952-1990 (1994) and Atlas of American Religion: The Denominational Era, 1776 – 1990 (2000).  Together, they also wrote a sizeable number of academic journal essays focused on trends in American religion.


In 1979, Newman became the founding editor of the Monograph Series of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR) and subsequently was elected a “Fellow” of that organization. In 1993, he and Frances A. Boudreau published a sociology text and accompanying reader under the title Understanding Social Life: An Introduction to Sociology. Throughout his academic career, Newman wrote a substantial number of journal essays, was an invited participant in numerous festschrifts, and authored numerous book chapters.


He retired as a Full Professor of Sociology in 1997 to pursue a business career in commercial real estate brokerage and appraisal, and subsequently  retired in South Florida, where he became active in  the musical community as a jazz drummer and big band leader.

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