Westmont Mourns the Loss of Alum William Klug

PastedGraphic-1President Gayle D. Beebe expressed the shock and sorrow of the Westmont community at learning about the shooting death of alumnus William Klug at UCLA today. “We’re deeply saddened by this tragic news and send our condolences to his wife, Mary Elise, also a Westmont graduate, and their family,” Beebe says.

“Professor Ken Kihlstrom remembers him as a gentle, kind person without a trace of arrogance. Dr. Klug was an excellent student at Westmont who conducted student research with two professors during his college years.

“He stayed connected to Westmont after he graduated, attended our Summer Research Symposium each year—he was the featured speaker one year—and also spoke in class occasionally.”

Professor Klug graduated from Westmont in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics and completed a master’s degree at UCLA and a doctorate at Cal Tech. He was an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UCLA.

This LA Times story describes Professor Klug as “both brilliant and kind, a rare blend in the competitive world of academic research.”

The Westmont magazine featured a story about him in 2004.


  1. Molly Stephens '97 says

    My heartfelt condolences to his family…what a senseless loss.

  2. June Sarian Bostick says

    Mary Elise asks that the family be given some space as they process this horrible deed.

  3. Micah Newman says

    Shocked and heartbroken. I knew Bill; he was such a good guy. Incomprehensible that this should happen to hm.

  4. Deeply saddened at the loss of such a brilliant mind. May God give courage to his family and UCLA to withstand the loss.

  5. Michelle says

    Our prayers go out to the family of Dr. Krug and the Westmont community. We are deeply saddened by this and we continue to pray for the condition of our society today.

  6. Judith Griesinger says

    My heart is wrung at the loss of such a good and kind man. My prayers are with his wife and children, and his parents, for I cannot imagine how I could bear the grief of such a loss if my son (also a Westmont graduate) were taken out of this life so early. I pray that God will comfort his family with His Presence in the midst of this trauma.

  7. Laurie Poirier says

    The special Education Children here at Laguna Nueva School 6360 Garfield Avenue are sadden about the incident that has taken place and would like to give the condolences to the family, friends.


    Laguna Nueva School
    Montebello Unified School

  8. Katie Vogelzang says

    Bill was an incredibly smart, humble and kind person. I had the honor of calling him my friend while at Westmont. Not only was he great at Physics, but was also played a mean game of pool.

  9. There’s no sugarcoating the fact that the loss of Bill Klug was a tragedy of the highest order. No answer to the question of “why?” can satisfy his family and others close to him at Westmont and beyond. This was a senseless and evil act. Period. I did not know Bill, but my admiration for him is enormous. All that I have read from those who did know him as friend, colleague, classmate, student, mentor — the list is endless — testify that he was the embodiment of the character of Christ. Can anything, or anyone, achieve any greater honor? I don’t think so. How rich is the legacy that he leaves to his wife and children. And how grateful we should be that we are all part of the Westmont family. Bill Klug makes me — many years his elder — proud to share that wonderful connection with him.