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William Hustace Lane Jr., Columbia 's First Controller, Dies at 96

William Hustace Lane Jr.

William Hustace Lane Jr., a seminal figure in modernizing Columbia's financial structure after World War II, died July 3, at his home in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. He was 96.

Lane, born in Orange , N.J., and raised in New Canaan, Conn., graduated from the University's school of business in 1931, which was an undergraduate division at the time.

Before returning to work for his alma mater, Lane served in the public accounting field as well as with Bankers Trust and New York Title and Mortgage. He began his professional relationship with the University in 1942 as an assistant in the business administration of Columbia 's government contracts. He was appointed business manager of the Government Contract Division and associate bursar.

In 1949, Columbia University President Dwight Eisenhower made Lane the first at the University to hold the position of controller, the principal officer in all matters of accounting, including supervision of the bursar. During a time when financial and accounting matters for universities were changing through new approaches to philanthropy and the further development of federal funding, Lane was responsible for creating the Office of the Controller, the general structure of which remains today. In 1964 Lane became Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance. Lane was also president of the board of directors of the Morningside Heights Housing Corp., a complex of units just north of the Morningside campus.

Lane is survived by his children: William H. Lane III, of Los Altos Hills, Calif., and Susan Lane Henderlite of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., as well as four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Published: July 27, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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