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Glenn Ferguson, former UConn president, dies

by Sherry Fisher- January 22, 2008

Glenn W. Ferguson, president of the University from 1973 to 1978, died Dec. 20 in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 78.

Ferguson served as president from 1973 to 1978.

Janet Jones, who was Ferguson’s executive assistant, says he “cared deeply about issues and tried to resolve them in a positive fashion.”

Ray Buck, emeritus director of university publications, says Ferguson was “extremely interested in the welfare of the University. He listened to suggestions. He acted as best he could during very difficult times. He really had the University’s best interests at heart.”

Buck notes that Ferguson “worked hard to enlarge the role of the Foundation in the strengthening of the University.”

He describes the former president as gentle, soft spoken, and “quite shy,” and called  Ferguson’s wife, Patricia, “an exemplary first lady.”

Ferguson was chancellor of Long Island University from 1969 to 1970, and president of Clark University in Massachusetts from 1970 to 1973.

After leaving UConn, he served as president of Radio Free Liberty-Radio Europe, based in Munich. He became president of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1983, and was president of the American University of Paris from 1992 to 1995.

Ferguson earned an undergraduate degree in economics in 1950 and a master’s degree in business administration in 1951, both from Cornell. He earned a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1957.

He held various posts in the administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson between 1961 and 1969, including U.S. ambassador to Kenya, as well as positions with the Peace Corps and Volunteers in Service to America.

Ferguson was born in Syracuse, N.Y. He grew up there and in Bethesda, Md.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, two sons, a daughter, and four grandchildren.

Alan R. Bennett, '69
Former UConn president Glenn W. Ferguson, left, who died December 20, is seen during a rare visit to campus after his tenure in the 1970s. He returned in September 1998 for the dedication of the Tasker Admissions Building. Also pictured are then-president Philip E. Austin, center, and Gordon Tasker, who was chair of the Board of Trustees during Ferguson's presidency.
Photo by Peter Morenus


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