RIP: Frederick F. Woerner, Jr. (1933-2023)

General Frederick Frank Woerner, Jr., Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, passed away on March 29, 2023. 

Before coming to Boston University, Woerner served for 34 years in the United States Army as a 4-star general. He commanded various infantry assignments, including the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama; the United States Army Security Assistance Agency, Latin America; the Sixth United States Army at the Presidio of San Francisco; and the United States Southern Command, for which he was promoted to four-star rank. Woerner spent most of his career in Latin America, where he served in Colombia, Uruguay, Guatemala, and Panama. Because of his expertise in the area, he also served as the Director of Latin American Studies at the United States Army War College. 

Woerner taught at BU from 1990-2003, after retiring from his military service, specializing in security studies, Latin America, and foreign policy. Professor Woerner was one of the leading professors in the early years of the Department of International Relations, which later became the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. Students and colleagues remember him as a dedicated professor who enjoyed mentoring students. Professor Woerner volunteered to be an advisor for undeclared undergraduates through the College of Arts & Sciences to fulfill his passion for mentoring students. Those who worked closely with him remember his character, kindness, and keen sense of humor.  

“General Woerner was one of the foundational generation of faculty in International Relations (now the Pardee School). He contributed to establishing its commitment to a deep understanding of regions and the application of scholarly effort to policy,” said Erik Goldstein, Professor of International Relations and History at the Pardee School who retired in 2022. 

In addition, regarding the legacy of Professor Woerner, Erik Goldstein put forth, “He was also deeply committed to mentoring, which he did throughout his military career, at BU, and in retirement (where he volunteered at a local public school to help with literacy through reading with the very young students). He was one of the most remarkable, humane, and honorable individuals I have ever had the privilege to work with.” 

Professor Woerner will be dearly missed by his family, students, colleagues, and friends around the world. Professor Woerner’s obituary from Woodridge Memorial Park & Funeral Home can be read online.