Trustees Richard A. Grossman ’64, Jefferson W. Kirby ’84, and Walter Oechsle ’57 have been elected to emeritus status and will be recognized at the 177th Commencement May 19.
Grossman has served on the Board of Trustees from 1987-97 and from 2002 to the present. Currently a member of the Committee on Student Life, he previously served on the Committee on Grounds and Buildings, of which he was vice chair; the Committee on Development and Alumni Affairs; and the Committee on Educational Policy. He also served on the All-College Committee on Minorities and International Students, Ad Hoc Committee on Commencement, and Ad Hoc Committee on Residence Life and Social Conditions for Women.
During the Lafayette Leadership Campaign (1997-2001), Grossman was a member of the Campaign Steering Committee and served as co-chair of the Southern Connecticut/Westchester County, N.Y., regional campaign. The Grossman Gallery in the Williams Visual Arts Building is named in appreciation for the support of Grossman and his wife, Rissa Welt Grossman. They also endowed the Grossman Visiting Artist and Exhibition program. Grossman House, a residence hall providing a supportive living-and-learning environment for students interested in global topics, will open this fall. Members of the Marquis Society for more than 25 years, the Grossmans were inducted into Lafayette’s Société d’Honneur in 2003. Their ties to the College include a daughter, Sharon Grossman Herzog ’97.
The president of Interstate Building Corporation, Tarrytown, N.Y., Grossman graduated from Lafayette with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and business and earned a law degree at Harvard University. He has been an officer of Interstate Building and its affiliates, Gibraltar Management Company Inc. and Empire State Construction Corp., since 1969. Together with other members of the Grossman family and associates, he has successfully developed and currently manages more than 75 commercial projects including shopping centers and office buildings.
Kirby has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 1996. He serves on the Committee on Investments, of which he is vice chair, and the Committee on Development and Alumni Affairs. As chair of the Committee on External Affairs he was a member of the board’s Executive Committee. He also served on the Committee on Educational Policy and the Committee on Grounds and Buildings.
During the Lafayette Leadership Campaign, he was a member of the Campaign Steering Committee and of the New York City Regional Campaign Committee. He also has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Alumni Council. In 1999 the Alumni Association presented him its Clifton P. Mayfield 1909 Award for outstanding service by a young alumnus. His wife is Karen McCabe Kirby ’87.
The Kirby family, among the inaugural inductees in the Société d’Honneur, has been prominent in the life of the College for a century. Jeff Kirby is vice president and director of the F.M. Kirby Foundation, Morristown, N.J. With brothers Fred M. Kirby III ’80 and S. Dillard Kirby ’81, he has carried on a legacy of extraordinary service to and support of Lafayette begun by his great grandfather, Fred Morgan Kirby, and continued by his grandfather, Allan P. Kirby ’15, and his father, the late F.M. Kirby II ’42.
Kirby is the managing member of Broadfield Capital Management LLC, Morristown, N.J., and chairman of the board of Alleghany Corporation, New York City. Awarded the George Wharton Pepper Prize as the senior who most closely represents the Lafayette ideal, Kirby graduated from Lafayette with a bachelor of arts degree in government and law and holds a master of business administration degree from the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.
Oechsle was elected to the Board of Trustees in 1995 and served until 2004. He served on the Committee on Investments, Committee on Educational Policy, Committee on Financial Policy, Committee on Athletics and Student Affairs, and Subcommittee on Investments. He was a member of the College’s Ad Hoc Committee on Psychology and has served as president of the Class of 1957 for more than a decade.
Lafayette’s Oechsle Center for Global Education, under development, was made possible by the support of Oechsle and his wife, Christa Huber Oechsle. During the Lafayette Leadership Campaign, a major contribution from the Oechsles enabled the College to transform the former Alumni Memorial Gymnasium into state-of-the-art facilities for the psychology and neuroscience programs. They also endowed a scholarship fund that benefits international students attending Lafayette. The William C. Rappolt ’67 and Walter Oechsle ’57 Neuroscience Prize, given annually to an outstanding senior, also bears his name. Sustaining members of the Marquis Society, the Oechsles were inducted into Lafayette’s Société d’Honneur in 1997.
In 1995, the Alumni Association presented Walter Oechsle with its George Washington Kidd Class of 1836 Award for career distinction. A native of Germany, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in history at Lafayette. He pursued graduate study in philosophy at University of Pennsylvania and earned a master of business administration degree in finance from New York University. A leading authority on international money management, he founded Oechsle International Advisors. He previously served as president and chief investment officer of Putnam International Advisors. For five years, he authored “Overseas Commentary,” a column on international investing, for Forbes magazine.