Dr. Bill Cook, founder and president of The Cambrian Group, passed away at his home on December 15th, 2021 following a brief illness. He was 83-years-old.
Dr. Cook, a native Alabamian, split time in the early years of his career between military service, preaching, and academic studies.
Dr. Cook would receive an honorable discharge from the Army at the rank of 1st Lieutenant before deciding to pursue advanced degrees at Auburn University. Dr. Cook served as a minister at Auburn Church of Christ while finishing his graduate and doctoral studies. He and his family would later move to Montgomery following Dr. Cook’s appointment as Assistant Vice President of Auburn University at Montgomery to help plan, build and pursue accreditation for the recently announced AUM campus.
His passion for education would eventually lead to the founding of The Colonial Group, later known as The Cambrian Group, in 1977.
Dr. Cook and his associates have spent 44 years working with school administrators across 1,500 districts. His 1986 book, “Strategic Planning for America’s Schools”, is still considered an essential text in college graduate programs across the country.
Senior Cambrian Associate Dr. Lindsey Gunn spent decades working alongside Dr. Cook as a colleague and friend.
“Bill enjoyed his work, his mission, finding great satisfaction and renewed energy with each experience. Clients knew and felt his tireless dedication and relentless efforts on their behalf, expressing profound admiration and heartfelt appreciation,” said Dr. Gunn.
“He inspired hope, both professionally and personally – hope that had been lost, abandoned, or non-existent. Clients often told me that Bill transformed their lives, forever changed through his influence. I am among those,” added Dr. Gunn.
Dr. Cook published more than a dozen books during his lifetime. In addition, his syndicated radio program titled “Bill Cook Comments” aired across 200 radio stations in the southeast during the 1970s. Dr. Cook continued to publish an updated format of his commentaries through 2021.
Here is a section from his commentary, “Being Absolutely Certain” from October 2020:
“The great danger in a convergence of crises is that we, conditioned by rationalistic thinking, allow the chaos surrounding us to set up
within us as confusion, moral and spiritual. We become trapped in a double irony: Thinking artifacts are permanent, and absolutes,
ephemeral. The great tragedy is that we yield to gloom and despair, or worse, cynicism. The greatest tragedy is that we allow the
crumbling of artifacts to precipitate to our own demise. Of this we can be sure: Any person or organization not predicated on
absolutes is lost. And any person or organization without noble purpose is doomed. The only reliable order is the order of the soul;
and the only noble purpose is service to others”.
Dr. Cook’s noble purpose was serving the many educators he met in his accomplished lifetime. He thrived on new challenges and treasured the relationships he made along the way. Dr. Cook’s legacy now continues through the work of The Cambrian Group Associates and our commitment to the service of others.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to Trinity Presbyterian Church, 1728 South Hull Street, Montgomery, Alabama 36104 or Montgomery Christian School, 3265 McGehee Road, Montgomery, Alabama 36111.