LaMarr Billups, assistant vice president for business planning policy, died in his Falls Church, Va., home Friday after a brief illness. He was 59 years old.
Billups, who joined the university in 2007, also served as chairman of the Licensing Oversight Committee, the Advisory Committee on Business Practices and the committee responsible for planning the Martin Luther King,Jr. celebration.
John Kline, a professor in the School of Foreign Service and a member of the Licensing Oversight Committee, said that Billups’ loss was a blow to the university.
“He was so dedicated to the work, particularly to students and to workers,” he said.
Before coming to Georgetown, Billups served as an aide to Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and senior special assistant to the chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he began his efforts to promote fair labor standards in the production of university apparel.
During his time at Georgetown, Billups led a review of the implementation of the Just Employment Policy and consulted for Alta Gracia, a clothing line that promotes living wages for its employees in the Dominican Republic. Among college campuses, Georgetown was one of the top-10 purchasers of AltaGracia products in the United States this year.
Kline said that although Billups’ work often involved contentious issues, the late administrator was open to all viewpoints.
“He brought a good consensual type of leadership to the issues. He had a quiet type of leadership.”
Kline added that because few students worked with Billups, they may not realize the impact that his work had on the university.
“Students that didn’t have the opportunity to get to know him really missed something,” he said.
University President John J. DeGioia wrote in a statement to The Hoya that he was saddened byBillups’ death.
“Since joining our community in 2007, LaMarr made an immediate and significant contribution to Georgetown,” he wrote.
According to DeGioia, Billups brought a sensitivity to social justice issues to the university.
“His dedication to service, to fair and equitable practices and to improving the lives of others set an example for all of us,” he wrote.
Billups is survived by his wife, Sheryl, and daughter Rachel Montgomery. A memorial service in his honor will be held at the university in the coming days; the date is yet to be determined.