In Memory of Bill Sonnenschein


Last Sunday, we lost one of the most inspiring professors in Haas - Bill Sonnenschein.

When we just arrived to Haas, we could sign up for two modules in the pre-school summer camp. One was math/finance/accounting introduction, and the second was Communication Workshop. We didn't really know what exactly to expect from that second workshop, but I decided to take it anyway in what turned out to be one of the best experiences I could have before Haas.

Bill was the professor leading this workshop and he immediately captured us with his unique approach to communication, public speaking and people in general. The workshop was full of activities that allowed us to get to know each other better, while improving our ability to communicate regardless to our country of origin.

Bill was also our professor in the Leadership Communication course during fall A, and here too he managed to create a learning experience that was unlike any I've had before. He built a wonderful team of GSIs (Graduate Students Instructors), which were second-year students that practically led the class and I don't think there is even a single person in class that didn't become a better public speaker by the end of the semester.

Bill spent the last few months in Madagascar as a communication consultant for the government there. He was extremely excited about this opportunity and told us lots of great stories in class. unfortunately, after only few hours of intense gastric illness, Bill passed away last Sunday in the small village of Maronsetra on the East coast of Madagascar.

We will all miss him at Haas, his great sense of humor, his unconventional way of thinking, his ringtone (Hendrix's solo in All Along the Watchtower) and most of all his genuine passion for people and for experiencing life to the maximum.

Update: A Haas community memorial blog has been created in Bill’s honor at

—Elad Ganot

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