UO Says Goodbye to Dave Frohnmayer

_frohnmayer_001Education, when engaged with mind and spirit, is a lifelong journey. The library is an essential partner in this process–feeding our imagination, nurturing our intellect, and helping us realize our aspirations.

–Dave Frohnmayer, 1940-2015


The University of Oregon was saddened by the news that Dave Frohnmayer, the university’s 15th president from 1995 to 2009, passed away on March 9 in Eugene after a long battle with prostate cancer. Frohnmayer, who served in various capacities at UO for the better part of four decades, was 74 years old.

To commemorate his distinguished record of academic and political service in his home state,

Dave Frohnmayer, University of Oregon's retiring president, and Richard Lariviere, the University's newly selected president - 2009 USATF National Championships, Hayward Field, University of Oregon.
Dave Frohnmayer, University of Oregon’s retiring president, and Richard Lariviere, the University’s newly selected president – 2009 USATF National Championships, Hayward Field, University of Oregon.

we have aggregated various remembrances of Frohnmayer’s life from the University of Oregon community, state and national media outlets, and some of our own memories from the staff at Knight Library along with pictures selected from the collection of his presidential and personal papers located in the University Archives and Special Collections. A memorial service for Frohnmayer will be held at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday, March 21. Doors open at 1:00 pm, with the celebration of life commencing an hour later at 2:00 pm. A reception will follow the celebration.









Campus Memorials

David B. Frohnmayer (1940-2015), uoregon.edu

At this site you can find a series of resources, including a timeline of Frohnmayer’s career, tributes from campus and state leaders, and a selection of his speeches and writings.

Greg Bolt, “UO President Emeritus Dave Frohnmayer dies at age 74,” Around the O

Around the O, the University of Oregon’s source for online news coverage about UO faculty, staff and graduate teaching fellows, offers its tribute to Frohnmayer.

Alexandria Cremer, “Former University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer has passed away at 74,” Daily Emerald

The University of Oregon’s independent student media organization offers memories from interim president Scott Coltrane, ASUO president Sam Dotters-Katz, and others in the university community.

Caroline McNabb, “Behind the Scene: Processing President Dave Frohnmayer’s Papers,” SCUA blog

McNabb, the Special Collections project archivist who assisted in processing Frohnmayer’s presidential and personal collection of materials, details her efforts in a March 2014 blog post.

Young Dave Frohnmayer in his Boy Scout regalia
Young Dave Frohnmayer in his Boy Scout regalia


Remembrances from Print Media Outlets around Oregon

Diane Dietz, “Iconic Oregon public servant Dave Frohnmayer dies,” The Register-Guard (Eugene)

Eugene’s local newspaper offers a detailed look at Frohnmayer’s life of service and provides additional testimonials from local and state leaders.

“Medford native Dave Frohnmayer leaves legacy of distinguished service,” Mail Tribune (Medford)

The editor of the local newspaper in Medford, where Frohnmayer was born in 1940, eulogizes Frohnmayer’s political legacy.

Frohnmayer in his first year of teaching at UO in 1970
Frohnmayer in his first year of teaching at UO in 1970

Alisha Roemeling, “Former UO President David Frohnmayer dies at 74,” Statesman-Journal (Salem)

The main newspaper in the state capital provides another look at Frohnmayer’s history in both state government and as the University of Oregon’s 15th president.

Editorial, “Dave Frohnmayer, one exceptional ‘regular guy’,” The Oregonian (Portland)

The editorial board of Portland’s preeminent newspaper provides its take on Frohnmayer’s lasting legacy in the state of Oregon.

Andrew Greif, “Dave Frohnmayer, as University of Oregon President, was known as a friend to athletics,” The Oregonian (Portland)

Former University of Oregon athletic directors Bill Moos and Pat Kilkenny, former Ducks football coach Mike Bellotti, and other UO faculty and staff remember Frohnmayer’s impact on UO athletics.

Allan Brettman, “Nike co-founder Phil Knight remembers his friend Dave Frohnmayer,” The Oregonian (Portland)

Nike co-founder and Oregon alumnus Phil Knight provides a statement in the wake of Frohnmayer’s passing.

“Dave Frohnmayer, an Oregon Legal and Political Leader, Dies at 74,” Willamette Week (Portland)

Portland’s alternative weekly newspaper offers its take on Frohnmayer’s legacy to the state of Oregon.

Peter Wong, “Friends, colleagues remember Frohnmayer’s dedication, ‘tremendous impact’,” Portland Tribune

Another of Portland’s newspapers offers testimonials of Frohnmayer from former governors and political leaders in the state of Oregon.



Tributes from other State Media Outlets

Materials from Frohnmayer's attorney general campaigns
Materials from Frohnmayer’s attorney general campaigns

Amanda Peacher, “Remembering Dave Frohnmayer,” Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon’s outlet for public radio and television provides insights into Frohnmayer’s impact on state politics as attorney general, looks at his failed run for governor, and pays homage to his decades of service.

Sara Roth and Michael Rollins, “Former Ore. AG, UO president Dave Frohnmayer dies at 74,” KGW-TV (Portland)

The NBC affiliate in Portland provides a brief tribute to Frohnmayer, including video of his final commencement as UO president in 2009.

Hillary Lake and News Staff, “Former Ore. AG, U of O president Dave Frohnmayer dies at 74,” KATU-TV (Portland)

The ABC affiliate in Portland offers more video from Frohnmayer’s life of public service, including footage from his time as attorney general, his bid for governor in 1990, and his work supporting research into cures for Fanconi anemia, the bone marrow disease that claimed two of his daughters.


Library Tributes

“Dave was a tireless advocate for the things he cared about…and he cared about so much!  People always mention his great communication skills, but you have to be a great listener to be a good communicator. I always knew that Dave was listening intently. He was extraordinarily generous with his time and concern. A remarkable person in so many ways.  How lucky we all were to have him lead this university for so long.” —Deb Carver, Former Dean of Libraries 

“Dave Frohnmayer didn’t only care about the UO as an institution, but more as a community. His most heartfelt concern – what he described as his key challenge – was ‘developing communications that truly reach the entire community.’ This was daunting and humbling coming from the greatest communicator most of us will meet in our lifetimes. But that was the pure Dave Frohnmayer, who knew that a university is far more than an institution or organization – it is a community.” —Andrew R. Bonamici, Associate Dean for Media & Instructional Services

“Thanks for the chance to share some thoughts. From my point of view, President Frohnmayer had a clear and unblinking vision of the importance of advanced networking capabilities for the modern research universities. He also knew how to translate that vision into tangible forward progress. He knew that cutting edge connectivity meant that Oregon would be “on the map” and nationally competitive, well positioned to compete for research funding and to contribute to the discoveries our state and nation needed, while making us ready to support the university’s teaching and learning mission.” —Joe St Sauver, Former UO Computing Center

“Even though I didn’t work directly with President Frohnmayer his values  greatly influenced  both my work and private lives.  Dave’s Rules of Order ​are​ more than instructions for ​effective​ meetings; they are​ a blueprint for relationships.  When I successfully  followed them I felt great and  I did well.  T​hese rules​ are​ about personal integrity, responsibility, and honesty;​ respect for others;​ and working for the good of the community.  Here they are:

  1. Everything is confidential (unless otherwise agreed)
  2. Speak for yourself (no passive voice, “people are saying that…”)
  3. Everyone is equal (ideas count, not rank)
  4. No monologues (get to the point)
  5. No sidebars (pay attention to speakers—no rolled eyes, knowing winks or whispered conversations)
  6. No hidden agendas
  7. No personal attacks  (issues, not personalities)
  8. Turn issues into “Problem Statement”.  Make everyone “own the problem,” only then will they own the solution.  After consensus, no distancing from the group.”

Shirien Chappell, Former Head of Access Services 

Second photo from top sourced from the UO Digital Collections Stock Photos; all other photographs from the Dave Frohnmayer papers (UA 166), posted originally on the SCUA blog on March 20, 2014.


Zach Bigalke
Student Research Assistant

Jennifer O’Neal
University Historian and Archivist

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