Alumnus Donald R. Frahm has established a professorship in the Olin School of Business.
The gift of $1.2 million, which has been augmented with $300,000 from the University’s Sesquicentennial Endowed Professorship Challenge, was announced by Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. It will create the Frahm Family Professorship, which will soon be awarded to an Olin School faculty member.
“This generous gift from Donald Frahm is a wonderful tribute to his family,” Wrighton said. “We are deeply appreciative that he has chosen to support Washington University in this way.
“Faculty support is an important priority for the University. With this gift, we will be able to attract and recognize outstanding faculty for generations to come. We are honored to have the Frahm name associated with Washington University in perpetuity.”
Concurring with Wrighton, Stuart I. Greenbaum, Ph.D., dean of the Olin School and the Bank of America Professor of Managerial Leadership, said: “We are extremely grateful for Don’s support of the Olin School, for this gift and for all he has done for the school over the years.
“A loyal and dedicated alumnus, he is genuinely interested in the vitality of the school and in helping our students realize their dreams.”
The 1953 graduate of WUSTL’s business school was very active during his undergraduate days, joining Sigma Chi fraternity, playing varsity baseball and participating in Thurtene Honorary events.
After graduation, his interest in and support of the University and the Olin School did not wane. Over the years, he has helped raise funds for two capital campaigns, has been a member of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society and has established the Jean and Donald Frahm Scholarship through the Scholars in Business program.
Following in his footsteps, Frahm’s son, Mark, graduated from WUSTL with a master’s degree in business administration in 2000.
Frahm is a member of the Olin School’s national council. In recognition of his efforts on behalf of the University, which include membership in the Boston Regional Cabinet and its Regional Campaign Committee, he received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989 and the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.
In 1997, he retired as chairman, president and chief executive officer of The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., a company he joined 23 years earlier as vice president for commercial liability underwriting. At that time it was known as ITT Hartford Insurance Group.
Quickly rising through the ranks, he became president and chief operating officer of the company in 1983. Five years later, he was named chairman and chief executive officer of ITT Hartford and its principal company, Hartford Fire Insurance Co.
Under his leadership, the company’s revenues grew to exceed $12.2 billion.
During that time, Frahm was recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the country’s best managers. The Hartford Co. became independent in 1995, returning its headquarters to Hartford, Conn., and boosting economic conditions in the region.
In 1996, The Hartford Courant named him “Business Leader of the Year.”
Community involvement for Frahm and his wife, Jean, is an important component in their lives and includes supporting Hartford Hospital and the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. He also serves on the Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce.
As an industry leader, Frahm was a member of the American Insurance Association, where he chaired a special committee on the “Superfund.” He also was a chairman of the Insurance Information Institute and a leader in the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety program.