Professor Matt Bonham

Obituary of Professor Matt Bonham

Matt Bonham, 78, of Syracuse, died on Wednesday, August 14. A native of Peoria, IL, Matt was Professor Emeritus at the Maxwell School where he taught for twenty five years. He attended Northwestern University (BA political science) and MIT (Ph.D political science), and also taught at UC Berkeley and American University. At Syracuse University, he was Director and Chairman of the International Relations program. His research interests included public diplomacy, foreign policy decision making, international political communications and US foreign policy in the Islamic world.  He worked very hard to set up the Maxwell Washington DC program and ensure that it grew every year.  He was also instrumental in establishing the first joint Maxwell Newhouse dual degree MA in International Relations and MS in Public Relations. 

He was extraordinarily committed to teaching and mentoring his students, some of whom went on to careers in international relations or secured academic positions around the world.

Matt is survived by his wife, Martha (Kalkut) Bonham; his beloved children, Michael (Hollin) Bonham and Catherine (Lawrence) Keating; his two grandsons, Jack and Will Keating; and his brother, Martin Bonham (Maria). He was a loving soul, always sweet and kind, especially to his children and grandchildren who loved him dearly.

There will be a celebration of Matt’s life at the Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel, 3690 Erie Blvd East, DeWitt on Sunday August 25 at 1pm. 

In lieu of flowers, to honor Matt’s life and deep affinity for his career at the Syracuse University Maxwell School, memorial donations are welcomed to support scholarships for students enrolled in the Maxwell in Washington programs. Donations may be made online, at 1632/17/form/form.aspx?sid= 1632&gid=2&pgid=2306&cid=4529& sort=1&bledit=1&dids=2752. Contributions may also be sent by mail to: The Public Diplomacy Fund, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 200 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244-1010. Checks may be made payable to Syracuse University with a note directing the gift to the Public Diplomacy Fund in honor of Matt Bonham.

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Celebration of Life

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sunday, August 25, 2019
Fairchild & Meech DeWitt Chapel
3690 Erie Blvd East
DeWitt, New York, United States
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