Tributes to David B. Frohnmayer

Frohnmayer In Memoriam

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dave Frohnmayer. Dave was a friend, a former colleague and a valued advisor. I am honored to have witnessed how his profound collaboration and insightful vision built the University of Oregon into the top research university it is today. 

"As a university, state and community leader, he had the ability to bring people together and build successful partnerships. That will be his lasting legacy. My deepest sympathies go out to his family and all who loved him, and there were many."

 — Scott Coltrane
University of Oregon

"Dave Frohnmayer made many important and indelible impacts on the University of Oregon. As a dean and as president, he inspired greatness in so many people. He inspired us to work together, to strive for more, and to support higher education. He led the university through challenging financial times, and laid the foundation for creating the Board of Trustees. Dave was also an inspirational father and friend. He will be greatly missed."

– Chuck Lillis
Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon

"Dave was Oregon. Perhaps no Oregon public servant has contributed so much in so many different capacities as Dave Frohnmayer. He loved the state and he loved the University. I enjoyed working with him because he brought so much intelligence, insight, and commitment to the discussion. He stands alone and above all others in the pantheon of the University of Oregon. We not only miss him, but feel bereft without him."

— Robert M. Berdahl
President Emeritus, Association of American Universities
Former Interim President, University of Oregon

"I am heartbroken at the loss of my wonderful and brilliant friend Dave Frohnmayer. His deep love of Oregon is reflected in a lifetime of leadership and public service. My thoughts and prayers go out to Lynn and the Frohnmayer family at this difficult time."

— Kate Brown
Governor of Oregon

"A great Oregonian! Along with leading the state and the U of O to greater prominence, Dave as a board member helped build Umpqua Bank into a leading institution, and worked to bring more scholarships to deserving students in his work with the Ford Family Foundation. A wonderful friend, a man of all seasons."

— Allyn Ford
Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon

"I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of my friend Dave Frohnmayer. I had last seen him in November and he seemed to be in very good health. Dave was clearly one of state of Oregon's most dedicated and visionary leaders. I had dealings with him for over twenty years, and as sometimes happens in such a lengthy relationship, we had one well publicized disagreement, but it was ultimately resolved to our mutual satisfaction.

"That disagreement never eroded my huge respect for him. He was an outstanding attorney general, then saved the university law school from losing its accreditation, then for twenty years was an inspiring president of the university, leading it through its greatest period of growth and improvement.

"It is a remarkable record, achieved while loving his wife and family above all else. The state has lost an historical figure, and I personally shall miss him deeply. Penny and I extend our condolences to Lynn and rest of the family."

—Phil Knight
UO alumnus and longtime supporter

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of my longtime friend and former law professor Dave Frohnmayer. His career is the gold standard for public service in this state. He worked tirelessly to make Oregon a better place and he will be sorely missed by all of us who came to depend on his wise counsel and selfless nature. My thoughts and prayers are with Lynn, Mark, Jonathan, Amy and the entire Frohnmayer family."

– Ron Wyden
U.S. Senator from Oregon

"I am stunned by this news, devastated really. I just recently had a delightful, unexpected encounter and visit with Dave at Dulles airport. I had no idea that he was ill. I am so very, very sorrowful to learn of his passing. He was my friend, but, more, a great public servant of Oregon."

— Gordon H. Smith
Former U.S. Senator from Oregon

"I am deeply saddened at the passing of Dave Frohnmayer with whom I was privileged to work with throughout my professional career. I first met Dave when he was in the office of Secretary of Health and Human Services, Bob Finch, during the Nixon Administration and I was working on lowering the voting age. It was during that campaign that I got a sense of Dave’s calling to public service. We served together in the Oregon Legislature in the 1970’s where he was a thoughtful voice in the finest tradition of progressive Republicanism in Oregon.

"Dave was thoughtful, reform oriented, and was a great partner to work on legislation and public policy. Throughout his subsequent career as attorney general, dean of the University of Oregon Law School, and president of the University of Oregon, he was someone I would consult on public policy and enjoy talking politics in Oregon.

"His career spans almost half a century and made an indelible mark on Oregon. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and former colleagues. Dave leaves us too soon, and with so much to work on and discuss, but all of us in Oregon are better for his friendship and his service."

— Earl Blumenauer
U.S. Representative
Oregon's 3rd Congressional District

"This is a sad day for Oregon. Dave Frohnmayer exemplified the best in public service. His dedication to improving the lives of Oregonians was evident throughout his years as president of the University of Oregon, dean of the University of Oregon School of Law, Oregon’s attorney general, and in the Oregon House of Representatives. The work he and his wife Lynn have done in health care research will benefit families for years to come. Importantly, Dave had the ability to consider issues on their merits and not through a partisan lens. He leaves behind a powerful legacy in the state, and I extend my deepest condolences to Lynn and his children, his extended family, and friends."

— Suzanne Bonamici
U.S. Representative
Oregon's 1st Congressional District

"Dave was a tireless public servant and an outstanding leader who dedicated his life to making Oregon a better place. He will be sorely missed."

— Peter DeFazio
U.S. Representative
Oregon's 4th Congressional District

"Dave Frohnmayer dedicated his life to improving the lives of others through his work in higher education, health research and public office. He was bright, independent, caring and unstoppable.

"I have fond memories of our many times together, from when I was a sophomore at the U of O and he was teaching law and serving in the Legislature, to hosting him at our home when he was running for governor on what turned out to be the day our son was born. My prayers go out to Lynn and his family as we all celebrate his wonderful life and mourn his passing."

– Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon's 2nd Congressional District

"Dave Frohnmayer was a remarkable public servant, a distinguished scholar and teacher, a visionary law school dean, and a transformative university president. He was a breathtakingly talented orator, a clear thinker, and a leader in countless realms. I counted him as a mentor and as a friend. I miss him already."

—Michael Moffitt
Dean, School of Law
University of Oregon

"When I think of my friend and mentor Dave Frohnmayer, I fondly remember his personal warmth – how he would greet me with a hug and ask “How’s it going pal?” Our students, our campus and our state will miss his intellectual curiosity, his compassion and his dedication. He was a man who took seriously the obligation to serve – whether it was teaching undergraduate students about leadership, leading the fight against Fanconi Anemia or directing our leadership team in a round of carols at the annual holiday party – Dave was always “all in.” Our loss is huge, yet it is dwarfed by the loss to his wife Lynn, his children Amy, Mark and Jonathan, and the rest of the Frohnmayer family. My heart goes out to them."

— Robin Holmes
Vice President for Student Life
University of Oregon

"Oregon has lost a true independent and a great leader with the passing of Dave Frohnmayer. Both in his work as a state leader and at the University of Oregon, Dave showed a tremendous love of his state and his community. Those of us from Lane County know especially well the impact that Dave had on the Eugene area, but his leadership and spirit were transformative for all of Oregon. I’ll miss Dave, and my condolences go out to his family."

— Val Hoyle
Oregon House Majority Leader

"It is with deep sadness that we learned today of the passing of Dave Frohnmayer. Dave’s vast contributions to the state of Oregon – as a member of the Oregon House of Representatives, as a former state attorney general and as a former president of the University of Oregon – cement his legacy as a faithful public servant and advocate for the state and its people. On behalf of the House Republican Caucus, I extend our deepest sympathies to the Frohnmayer family."

— Mike McLane
Oregon House Republican Leader 

"Dave Frohnmayer’s death leaves a huge hole in Oregon’s civic fabric. His roots ran deep in our state and we are all the better for it."

— Betsy Johnson
Oregon State Senator

"Throughout his life, Dave Frohnmayer’s commitment to serve others was remarkable. Dave made many important contributions as a state legislator, Oregon Attorney General, candidate for Governor and as president of the University of Oregon. Dave was brilliant, principled, caring and gracious. I will miss him as a dear friend, as a champion of higher education, as a committed Oregonian and someone I was always genuinely happy to see. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lynn and the entire Frohnmayer family."

— Ed Ray
Oregon State University

"This is a sad day for Oregon. Dave Frohnmayer’s record of achievement and contributions are quite remarkable. He was deeply committed to public higher education and advocated tirelessly on our behalf. He was a great partner and supporter of Lane Community College for which we will always be grateful. His life of public service made a difference in many lives and leaves a lasting legacy in our community and beyond. I extend my deepest sympathies to Lynn and the entire family."

— Mary Spilde
Lane Community College

"Today we lost a respected icon of our community and state, and we are saddened for his family. We, as his community, also feel the loss. We send sympathy and gratitude to Dave Frohnmayer's entire family and hold them in our hearts. He has left large footprints in the history of this state and served us well in a broad range of public positions. We have been honored to be his home for these many years and relied on his leadership, well crafted word, and exemplification of a well-lived and substantive life. We will miss Dave Frohnmayer and know with certainty that his contributions will live on for generations to come."

— Kitty Piercy
Mayor of Eugene

"I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dave Frohnmayer, a great Oregonian. His positive contributions to the University of Oregon and to the larger community will be felt for years to come. More than that, I will remember Dave for the obvious love and devotion that he showed towards his family. He was truly a great man."

— Christine Lundberg
Mayor of Springfield

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our co-founder, Dave Frohnmayer. Through his perseverance, intellect, and the rare ability to bring people from all viewpoints together, he revolutionized medical research into Fanconi anemia (FA), the rare disease suffered by all three of his daughters. His dedication to finding effective treatments and supporting families with FA was undiminished until the very end."

— Laura E. Hays
Executive Director
Fanconi Anemia Research Fund

"I believe Dave Frohnmayer will be remembered as one of the most effective public servants and university presidents in the history of our state. His vision, intelligence, and integrity made Oregon a better state and the University of Oregon a better institution. I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to call him a friend."

— Kerry Tymchuk
Executive Director
Oregon Historical Society