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Rose-Hulman Saddened By Loss of President Matt Branam
April 20, 2012
|Matt Branam touched lives, shepherded achievement,
initiatives for the betterment of Rose-Hulman Institute of
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is mourning the loss of its
14th president, Matt Branam, who died this morning following a
sudden medical emergency in his office. He was transported to a
local hospital by ambulance and died shortly after his arrival.
William R. Fenoglio, chairman of Rose-Hulman's Board of
Trustees, issued the following statement about today's tragic
"Our loss today saddens us deeply. Matt Branam was unique and
talented; as a graduate of Rose-Hulman, he brought a level of
passion for the school that created new energy on our campus.
"He was a visionary who celebrated the wonders of Rose-Hulman
and enthusiastically shared them with people throughout Indiana and
across the country. We all express our deepest condolences to his
"Details about Rose-Hulman's interim leadership and memorial
services will be forthcoming."
Branam, 57, was a Terre Haute native who earned a bachelor's
degree in civil engineering from Rose-Hulman in 1979. He was
elected Rose-Hulman's president in November 2009 after serving five
months in an interim role.
"I returned to my alma mater to become president because I could
not think of a more vital or important place to be at this moment
in American history," Branam stated recently. He was a strong
advocate of science, math and engineering education in solving
"Matt Branam's tragic passing is a loss not only to one of
America's finest academic institutions but to our entire state,"
said Governor Mitch Daniels. "Matt was leading Rose-Hulman
from strength to strength, and its graduates are making enormous
contributions to the economic life of Indiana. It's especially sad
because this native son of our state came home to us after an
illustrious career elsewhere, and we had all looked forward to many
more years of his leadership. He'll be a very difficult person to
Accomplishments during Branam's tenure include launching a
branded strategic planning process for the Institute that engaged,
to date, more than 2,000 alumni, corporate and education leaders,
faculty and staff, students, and parents. He also presided
while Rose-Hulman maintained its No. 1 ranking in U.S. News &
World Report's annual college ranking of specialized undergraduate
Branam was a vibrant and innovative leader who brought many new
enhancements to campus. Among this long list was the creation of a
collaborative student working environment, the Student Innovation
Center, which opened last fall; the construction of a 240-bed
LEED-certified residence hall, to be open this fall; the
construction on the William Alfred Cook Laboratory for Bioscience
Research, now under- way; and the remodeling of five
state-of-the-art classrooms, opening this fall. He also expanded
global awareness and diversity initiatives.
"President Branam shared a heart-felt passion for the Institute
and its students and that was appreciated by the entire campus
community. He was an amazing leader, a great mentor, but most
importantly, our friend," stated student leader Andy Milluzzi, a
senior computer engineering and software engineering major. "He had
an energy to move Rose-Hulman to even greater heights as the
innovative leader in science, math and engineering education."
Branam lived the transformational power of a Rose-Hulman
education. After graduating from Rose-Hulman, he climbed the
corporate ladder at UPS where he worked through college to help pay
for his education. In an engineering role initially, he helped the
rapidly growing company design, develop, construct and operate the
UPS distribution network. His UPS career grew from engineering into
regional management and culminated as the Vice President of Public
Affairs, a role in which he represented the corporation's interests
in Washington, D.C. Branam worked with our nation's leaders on
public policy dealing with key issues such as energy, labor and the
environment, among others.
|At a recent session of The "Great" Debate, one of
Matt Branam's forward-looking initiatives.
After 24 years at UPS (1972-1996), Branam answered former
senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Dole's request that he
serve as the first-ever chief operating officer of the American Red
Cross. During his tenure, the nonprofit organization's operating
revenue grew by 38 percent to $2.5 billion annually. Branam's
duties at the Red Cross included overseeing a network of 1,300
chapters, blood service regions that provided 56 percent of the
nation's blood supply, tissue services centers, major laboratory
operations, field stations at U.S. military installations around
the world and the nation's most extensive disaster relief
operation. He led a turnaround in the agency's fiscal position, led
an organization-wide visioning process, reorganized the corporate
structure, and launched a brand-image campaign that included a
prime-time network television celebration of Red Cross heroes.
After leaving the Red Cross, Branam's expertise in board
relations, brand management, legal, labor and financial affairs
positioned him as an executive coach and highly sought senior
consultant for organizations such as the United States Postal
Service and the National Academy of Public Administration.
He is survived by three adult children: Clint, Washington, D.C.;
Travis, Terre Haute, Indiana; and Brooke, Alexandria, Virginia.
About Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology offers a
rigorous, hands-on education that stresses development of technical
and interpersonal skills in an environment characterized by close
personal attention for every student. The college, located in
Terre Haute, Ind., has an enrollment of 1,900 undergraduate
students and 100 graduate students. For 13 consecutive years,
Rose-Hulman has been rated the top undergraduate engineering
college in the nation that offers the bachelor's or master's degree
as its top degree in engineering. The ranking is based on a
national survey of deans and senior faculty conducted by U.S. News
& World Report for its college guidebook. Rose-Hulman's
emphasis on undergraduate education has also been recognized by The
Princeton Review and www.RateMyProfessors.com, which cited six of
the Institute's professors for this year's Best 300 Professors
book. Learn more about Rose-Hulman at www.rose-hulman.edu.