Frank D. Rich, business leader, philanthropist, and former member of the University of Connecticut’s Board of Trustees, died Aug. 7.
He was 83.
Rich, of Darien, was chairman of the F.D. Rich Co. real estate development firm and chairman of the Stamford Center for the Arts.
Rich led the transformation of downtown Stamford from a deteriorating factory district to an office and commercial center.
A member of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1993, he played a key role in the long effort that culminated in the opening of the downtown Stamford campus.
He also contributed to the campus.
The University awarded him a University Medal in 1994, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1999.
“He was an extremely effective trustee,” says Peter McFadden, professor emeritus of engineering and a longtime UConn administrator.
“He served long and well as chairman of the finance committee. His requirements for studies and his thoughtful questioning were legendary. It was a pleasure to work with him.”
Rich served as a first lieutenant in the Marines in World War II and graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
He was the driving force behind the creation of the Stamford Center for the Arts and its Rich Forum theater, named for his family.
His company has also been involved in other projects, including Landmark Square complex, the Stamford Town Center, and the Stamford Marriott Hotel.
Rich is survived by his wife, Jean Hopkins Rich, four daughters, two sons, and 13 grandchildren.