Dear Lawrence Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the news that Terry Franke ’68 passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 73 with family at his side. Terry served as the chair of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2015, a capstone to five decades of service. During this extraordinary service to his alma mater he provided calm, insightful leadership and mentored countless students, alumni, and fellow Board members. 

Terry’s passion, unbounded energy, and strategic vision have carried Lawrence successfully forward. As Board chair, he delivered steady guidance during a time of great transition. His connection to Lawrentians on and off campus and his persistent support of many aspects of our learning community has had an extraordinary impact on the University. As Board chair during the presidential transition, Terry’s leadership ultimately brought me to the Lawrence community in 2013 as the University’s 16th president. He provided an essential sounding board during my first years in role. I know many Lawrentians join me in remembering moments when Terry’s advice offered exactly what you needed to hear to be the best version of yourself.

During his 16 years as a trustee, Terry chaired the Board’s Investment Committee during a critical time period, stewarding the endowment through the Great Recession of the late 2000s. His recruitment of many talented Lawrentians to that Committee fostered a decade of sustained endowment growth through appreciation and new gifts. Thanks to his leadership and the efforts and investments of many others, our endowment doubled during this period to more than $350 million today. It was also during his time leading the Board that we launched the Full Speed to Full Need campaign to support student scholarships. Upon leaving the Board four years later, he was honored by an anonymous donor, who gave a $1 million gift to establish the Terry and Mary Franke Scholarship Fund. 

Terry was a dedicated member of the Lawrence community from the moment he stepped on campus as a student in 1964. Since graduating in 1968, he fostered and maintained connections, sharing his time and knowledge with alumni, as well as current and future Lawrentians. He was always ready to lend a hand as an event volunteer, an admissions volunteer, and a member of reunion committees. He took particular joy in mentoring student interns at his consulting businesses. As a proud member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, he connected often with past and current fraternity members. 

Terry spent most of his professional career at Hewitt Associates, where he was a senior partner. He also served as a senior consultant for Productive Strategies Inc., a management and marketing consulting firm based in Northfield, Illinois, and Franke Associates, a consulting firm focused on clients in the higher education sector.

You can read more about Terry’s service to Lawrence in a moving tribute to his life and service here. We will share details on a Lawrence gathering to celebrate his life at a later date.

On a personal note, I will miss Terry immensely as a mentor, sounding board, and friend. I will especially miss seeing him hold court in the Viking Room during his frequent visits to campus. I know I am joined by many others in our community, as well as his family, friends, and colleagues, in mourning this loss and celebrating the life of this true Lawrentian.

Sincerely,

Mark