In a 54-year career, Gabe, as he was known to the NYU community, served as a professor, friend, confidante, and mentor to generations of faculty, students, and staff members. He was scholarly, kind, nurturing, honest, and a passionate champion of the people and ideals of the university he loved so much.
William Gabriel Carras was born in Phillipsburg, New Jersey on January 29, 1928 and attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. From 1946-1948 he served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army 6th Infantry Division, where he was stationed in Korea. After military service, he attended NYU where he earned an BA (cum laude) in 1951, an MA in 1952, and a Ph.D. in social studies education in 1959. His doctoral thesis was about the use of presidential executive power in wartime.
At NYU’s School of Education, Carras was appointed a part-time instructor of social studies education in 1952 and quickly rose through the ranks of professor, chair, division head, assistant dean for students, and, in 1979, associate dean for faculty affairs, a position he held until his retirement in 2002. He took great pride in the New Faculty Orientation program he established, a monthly seminar that guided new hires through the policies, procedures, and culture of academic life.
In 2004, the school established the Carras Award for Promising Young Scholars to honor the former dean’s lifelong commitment to mentoring Steinhardt’s junior faculty.
The family of W. Gabriel Carras will receive friends on Tuesday, July 5 from 2-4 and 7-9 at Arlington Funeral Home, 83-15 Parsons Blvd. Jamaica, Queens.
A service will be held on Wednesday, July 6 at 9:30 at St. Demetrios Church, 84-35 152nd Street, Jamaica, Queens. (F Train, Parsons Blvd.)
Donations in the name of W. Gabriel Carras may be made to the North Shore Animal League.
Photo: At NYU’s All University Commencement Ceremony in 2002, W. Gabriel Carras, carried the Tiffany Torch with the university’s youngest graduate in the procession at Washington Square.