View a digital copy of The Rose Thorn's commemorative issue for Matt Branam here.

Senior biomedical engineer Hobey Tam expressed his memories of President Branam in this mural, drawn in the Root Quadrangle. [br]Julia Williams • guest photographerSenior biomedical engineer Hobey Tam expressed his memories of President Branam in this mural, drawn in the Root Quadrangle.
Julia Williams • guest photographer

Open visitation

Monday, April 23rd from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Rose-Hulman Hatfield Hall

Celebration of a 'Great' life

Saturday, April 28th at 1 p.m., Rose-Hulman Sports & Recreation Center

Open visitation for President Matt Branam will be held this coming Monday, April 23rd from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., according to an all-campus email from Chief Administrative Officer Rob Coons.

After public visitation, a private funeral service will be held before Branam is buried in Rosedale Cemetary in Terre Haute.

A "Celebration of a 'Great' Life" will be held Saturday, April 28th at 1 p.m. at Rose-Hulman's Sports & Recreation Center. The event will celebrate and commemorate Branam's life and accomplishments.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Matt Branam Scholarship Fund at Rose-Hulman.

President Matt Branam[br]File Photo ● The Rose ThornPresident Matt Branam
File Photo ● The Rose Thorn
Matt Branam, 57, of Terre Haute died Friday morning, April 20, 2012 in Union Hospital. He was the 14th President of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Matt was born July 2, 1954 in Terre Haute to Everett Branam and Winoa Overpeck Branam.

Survivors include his three children, Brooke Branam of Alexandria, VA, Clint Branam of Washington, D.C., Travis Branam and his wife, Julie, of Terre Haute; his father, Everett Branam of Terre Haute; two sisters, Laura Branam of Atlanta, GA and Kim McDonald and her husband, Lon, of Terre Haute; a grandmother, Grace Branam of Terre Haute; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his mother.

A native of Terre Haute, Matt grew up in the children’s home his parents operated, which is now the Rose-Hulman Pi Kappa Alpha house. Matt graduated from Terre Haute Vigo High School and attended Indiana State University and Taylor University before enrolling at Rose-Hulman, where earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1979. Before becoming Rose-Hulman’s president, he worked for the United Parcel Service (UPS) for 24 years, starting as a package sorter and driver and working his way to Vice President of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. After UPS he served as the first Chief Operating Officer of the American Red Cross at the request of its former president, Elizabeth Dole. While there he was instrumental in providing ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of network of 1,300 Chapters: 32,000 employees and 1.3 million volunteers. He was a seasoned leader, experienced in providing vision, strategy, operations and financial management for companies such as the National Academy of Public Administration, the United States Postal Service, Watershed Associates, Inc. and TRED, LLC.

Known for his leadership qualities and ability to relate to faculty and students, he was on a mission to propel Rose-Hulman to international status as a college of excellence in engineering, science, and math. As President, his accomplishments included launching a strategic planning process known as “The Great Debate” and sustaining Rose-Hulman’s number one rank among specialized undergraduate engineering colleges as rated by U.S. News & World Report. Matt was also involved in several campus improvements including the creation of the Student Innovation Center, the construction of a LEED-certified residence hall and the construction of the William Alfred Cook Laboratory for Bioscience Research. Matt served on the Board of Trustees for the National Hospice Foundation and Board of Directors of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and Union Health System. He also served on the President’s Council of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Matt’s hobbies included sailing, motorcycle riding, golfing and driving fast.

Visitation will be held Monday, April 23, 2012, from 9AM to 1PM at the Hatfield Alumni Center on Rose-Hulman’s campus. A funeral service for family and friends will be conducted at 2PM at Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 South 25th St. Burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery.

A Celebration of Life service will be held for the Rose-Hulman community, friends, and the public on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 1PM at the Sports and Recreation Center on Rose-Hulman’s campus.

The family of Matt Branam kindly requests that memorial contributions may be made to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 5500 Wabash Avenue, Terre Haute, IN 47803.

Matt Branam, President of Rose-Hulman, passed away early Friday morning due to an unspecified "medical emergency." [br] File Photo • [i]The Rose Thorn[/i]Matt Branam, President of Rose-Hulman, passed away early Friday morning due to an unspecified "medical emergency."
File Photo • The Rose Thorn

Matt Branam, president of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, passed away this morning due to a "medical emergency," according to Board of Trustees chairman Bill Fenoglio. Branam was 57.

According to Terre Haute's WTHI-TV, Branam was taken by EMS to Union Hospital. 

Branam, a 1979 alumnus of Rose-Hulman, returned to the Institute in 2009 as full-time president after serving a brief interim period. During his presidency, Branam was known for a close connection with students, faculty, and staff, as well as for his recent "Great" Debate program aimed at institute improvement. Prior to returning to Rose-Hulman, Branam had an extensive career at UPS. Branam was a native of Terre Haute, Indiana and attended Indiana State University, Taylor University, and Georgetown University.

More information about Branam is available on Rose-Hulman's website. Rose has also issued an official statement with a message from Fenoglio.

In an all-campus email, Chief Administrative Officer Rob Coons said that plans for Branam's memorial service are underway in coordination with his children. Additionally, the Board of Trustees will meet on Monday afternoon to address the "interim leadership of the campus."

We lost a visionary leader, dedicated alumnus, and good friend. - William Fenoglio, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Matt Branam's tragic passing is a loss not only to one of America's finest academic institutions but to our entire state," said Governor Mitch Daniels. "Matt was leading Rose-Hulman from strength to strength, and its graduates are making enormous contributions to the economic life of Indiana. It's especially sad because this native son of our state came home to us after an illustrious career elsewhere, and we had all looked forward to many more years of his leadership. He'll be a very difficult person to replace.

UPDATE 1:17 p.m.: Added age.

UPDATE 1:33 p.m.: Added information from WTHI.

UPDATE 4:35 p.m.: Added link to official Rose-Hulman press release, corrected age.

UPDATE 7:35 p.m.: Added coverage of Rob Coons' all-campus email.

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