Passing of Former President Francis L. Lawrence

April 17, 2013

Members of the Rutgers Community:

We learned last night the sad news that Francis L. Lawrence, who served with dedication as president of Rutgers from 1990 until 2002, has passed away. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dr. Lawrence’s widow, Mary Kay, to his sisters, and to his children and grandchildren. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, April 28, at 9:00 a.m. at Kirkpatrick Chapel on the College Avenue Campus in New Brunswick.

During his presidency, Dr. Lawrence oversaw the expansion of undergraduate and graduate programs, vital building projects on all our campuses, and the establishment of research centers and institutes in areas such as neuroscience, transportation, workforce development, metropolitan studies, Jewish studies, health policy, and public affairs.

Among his other accomplishments, Dr. Lawrence initiated Rutgers’ first universitywide strategic plan, made significant investments in information technology through the RUNet 2000 project, and launched a fundraising campaign that ultimately brought more than $600 million to the university. I encourage you to read the news release we have issued today to learn more about his tenure at Rutgers.

Beyond his achievements as president, Fran Lawrence was devoted to his wife and family, his faith, and—in good seasons and bad—the Boston Red Sox. The Rutgers community mourns his passing, and we take time to honor his life and career.


Robert L. Barchi