“Our President for the Ages.”

Alumni share their stories about Emeritus President Dave Frohnmayer

Dear Alumni,

I did not know Emeritus President Dave Frohnmayer, but I have been moved by the stories that have been shared about him. You can read about the accomplishments of Dave Frohnmayer and his legacy at www.uoregon.edu/frohnmayer. I believe that the true measure of a person’s life is in the number of people they serve, love, inspire, and impact. It is in that spirit that I dedicate this column to sharing excerpts from the many stories that have been shared with me over the past week.

“Dave was my favorite business law professor as well as University President—by far! Outstanding leader. Wonderful human being. Incredible loss.”
Jill Strandquist ’89
Past UOAA Board of Directors member
Chandler, AZ

“When I chaired the UOAA Advocacy Committee, I lobbied with him in Salem. Every contact made my regard for Dave grow. At one of our alumni meetings, I declared my committee as “Dave's Disciples.” No one laughed harder than Dave.”
Mary Jubitz ’68
Past UOAA Board of Directors member

“Dave helped me to get the scholarship opportunity for graduate school to the Lundquist College of Business. When Nike was working on my H1-B visa, Dave wrote a letter as well.”
Thomas Lwebuga ’96, MBA ’98
UOAA Board of Directors member

“He was an amazing individual, a great President, a wonderful family man, and a kind soul. He lived a life worth living, and all of us associated with the University of Oregon know he is our President for the Ages.”
Xavier Romano ’82
Past UOAA Board of Directors member
La Grande, OR

“In the fall of about 1976, I was living with several roommates in a house at 1981 Onyx. Just before the November election, we sat down with friends one evening to go over the election information and sample ballots.

“At one point, questions came up that we could not answer. Having been in the ASUO Senate, I happened to know of Dave Frohnmayer, who had been a professor at the UO Law School. (I think he was in his first campaign for the Oregon House that fall.) I called him at his home, thinking he might be willing to answer our questions briefly over the phone—if he would talk to us at all.

“Not only did he appreciate our questions and our phone call, he offered to come over and join us, arriving shortly thereafter. He made himself at home easily, shared his knowledge without showing off, and left when we finished our ballot review about an hour later. He clearly enjoyed working through the ballot issues with us.

“Ever since then, I have known that the University of Oregon and the State of Oregon were in extremely capable and trustworthy hands—regardless of which academic or political office Dave held at the time.”
Jon Spangler ’78 (via LinkedIn)
Alameda, CA

“I first met Dave Frohnmayer when he was the Attorney General for the State of Oregon. I was visiting my friend who worked in the Department of Justice; she was showing me around and introduced me to Dave in the hallway. Several years later when he became President of the UO, he came around to each building to meet university employees. While he did not remember my name, he remembered me and when asked how we knew each other he said that he didn't remember my name but he did remember the occasion of our meeting and my friend’s name. I was impressed that he remembered me from a brief meeting in the hallway of the Justice building.”
Paula Jenson (via LinkedIn)
UO Staff

“I was sitting in the bowels of the Oregon Statehouse as part of a UO Alum Lobbying Team, having a cup of bad coffee and a stale cookie to get my blood sugar up to get in front of legislators. President Frohnmayer (at the time) came in with little notice and sat down by me, asking me if the cookies were any good. For the next twenty minutes we joked and chatted about the issues we were there to lobby for and against, and it was one of the most disarmingly pleasant interactions I've ever had with another human in a first-time meeting.”
Jay Rymeski ’73, MS ’81 (via LinkedIn)

“He was such an inspiration, whose determination and efforts helped so many individuals at the UO. He will be missed.”
Cindy Rhoades, MS ’77, PhD ’81 (via Facebook)

By any measure you apply, he lived an inspiring life—one lived in service to others, which touched many lives and had a great impact on our university and Oregon. Dave Frohnmayer will be missed but never forgotten.


Paul J. Clifford