University of Memphis professor dies from COVID-19, medical examiner reports

University of Memphis professor dies from COVID-19, medical examiner reports

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A University of Memphis professor has died from the coronavirus.

NBC affiliate WTMJ says criminal justice instructor Lenard Wells died Saturday from complications of COVID-19, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The 69-year-old was also suffering from other underlying health conditions.

Wells retired from the Milwaukee Police Department after 27 years of service as a police lieutenant.

He worked at the University of Memphis for about seven years after retiring from the police force.

In an email to faculty, staff and students Monday, UofM criminology and criminal justice department chair K.B. Turner said Wells touched the lives of his students and noted his compassion and dedication to his students. Read the email below.

I am saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Lenard Wells on Saturday, March 21, 2020.

During his tenure at the University of Memphis as an instructor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Dr. Wells touched the lives of many students. He was well known for his compassion and dedication to the impartation of knowledge and providing guidance to his students regarding their future careers and life.

Dr. Wells was an insightful instructor, a researcher and a supportive colleague in the department. Many students benefited from his leadership as he worked tirelessly in creating the “Mock Crime Scene” and perfecting the “Mock Law Enforcement Interview Board.” It was a rarity not to observe students in his office seeking his sage advice.

Dr. Wells began his career with the University of Memphis in 2013 as an instructor of criminal justice. Prior to his arrival at the University, he was appointed by then Gov. Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin to serve as the Parole Board Chief. Dr. Wells was also a retired lieutenant with the Milwaukee Police Department after an illustrious 30-year career.

His untimely passing will leave an indelible void for some time to come. He will be sorely missed by his family, students and colleagues.

Sincerely,

KB Turner Chair, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice The University of Memphis

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