Provost Peggy Agoruis sent the following message to the campus community on May 31, 2023. See below signature for updates regarding a Celebration of Life – Ed.

Dear Colleagues,

I write to share the news that Howard J. Busbee BA ’65, JD ’64, MLT ’67, LHD ’22, Clinical Professor of Business, Emeritus, passed away peacefully on May 16, with his beloved wife and five children at his bedside.

Born in Raleigh, North Carolina and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Howard enrolled at William & Mary in 1961, beginning a connection that would last for six decades. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting, his J.D., and his Master of Law and Taxation.  He joined the Raymond A. Mason School of Business in 2001 as Assistant Dean of the Master of Accounting and Undergraduate Business programs. He held that position for four years, until becoming a full-time instructor in 2005.  Prior to joining William & Mary, he was a Tax Partner with 33 years of experience in the Philadelphia, Atlanta and Richmond offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and served as the firm’s Southeast Regional Tax Director and on its Board of Partners. In addition to significant teaching and publication experience while a member of the firm, he provided tax planning services to a variety of publicly-held and middle market companies, in such areas as corporate federal and state taxation, international tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, closely-held business entities and personal financial planning for executives.

At William & Mary, Professor Busbee served as Vice Chair of the Real Estate Foundation and was past Chair of the William & Mary Foundation and past President of the W&M Alumni Association. He was also Co-Chair of the Robert Boyle Legacy Society and Vice Chair of the Olde Guarde Council, as well as a member of the President’s Council, Law Dean’s Council and Business Dean’s Council. He served as a Freshman Advisor for students interested in majoring in Business, and as Co-Director of the annual William & Mary Tax Conference.  Professor Busbee received the W&M Alumni Medallion, and the Law School’s Citizen Lawyer Award. He retired in 2017.

Dean of the Mason School of Business, Todd A. Mooradian, stated, “The legacy I will most remember is his kindness, genuine caring and generous encouragement for everyone he met – and I have heard many people express that same thought about Howard in the past week.  Words will never capture the heartbreak and sadness we all, in the Mason community, share at the receipt of the news….There will be a hole in our hearts forever at the passing of Howard Busbee.  He did so much for the Mason School – most of all making us better and happier people for knowing him.”

Outside of the university, his professional and community activities included service as President or Chair of the Atlanta Tax Forum, Atlanta Estate Planning Council, Academy Theatre, Theatre Virginia Board and the Richmond Private Business Study Group. He was an Emeritus Trustee of the Williamsburg Community Health Foundation and of the Foundation for Hospital Art. He was also involved with the United Way of Greater Richmond and Virginia Special Olympics.

Howard is survived by Mary Whitt Busbee, his wife of 57 years; and their five children and their spouses, Howard James (Jay) Busbee Jr., Stephen Whitt Busbee (Valynnda), Andrew David Busbee (Ann), Matthew Brian Busbee (Shannon) and Stacey Busbee Summerfield (Toby); as well as his older brother, Irvin (Lisa). Most notably, Howard’s life and legacy live on in the hearts of his 11 grandchildren, Riley, Vendela, Logan, David, Cadence, Cohen, Hadley, Whitt, James, H.G. and Watson. For all the many honors, accolades, awards and degrees that he achieved, his most important and cherished was the title of Granddad.

A vibrant obituary with more details about Howard Busbee’s life and experiences can be found here:  Condolences may be sent to Howard’s wife, Mary, at the address below.

Mrs. Mary Whitt Busbee

301 Virginia Street, Apt. 1105

Richmond, VA 23219

William & Mary is planning a remembrance on Saturday, July 22 at the Alumni House with more details forthcoming. 



Update sent by Provost’s Office June 26, 2023 regarding a Celebration of Life for Howard J. Busbee:

All – I’d like to pass along an email from Todd Mooradian, Dean of the Mason School of Business, with information for a gathering in memory of Howard Busbee.


Below I have pasted the campus-wide announcement and invitation regarding Howard Busbee’s Celebration of Life. Here in the Mason School, I know that many counted Howard as a dear friend.  Howard was a defining personality in our community and someone who changed the school for the better in powerful ways. I look forward to seeing those of you who can attend this event in July. We should also look for ways that we, in the Mason School, can honor Howard and celebrate his life at a more personal, Mason scale when we are all reconvened in August.

All are welcome to join the Celebration of Life for Howard J. Busbee BA ’65, JD ’64, MLT ’67, LHD ’22, Clinical Professor of Business, Emeritus, taking place at 1:00 pm on Saturday, July 22nd, at the William & Mary Alumni House. Attendees are encouraged to join the family in wearing touches of Green and Gold to celebrate Howard’s love for Alma Mater. A reception will be held in the same location following the celebration. 

Howard Busbee’s Obituary