President Joan Hinde Stewart announced the passing of Life Trustee Fran Musselman ’50, H’05, P’75 in an e-mail to the campus community on April 5.
“I write with great sadness to inform you that Life Trustee Fran Musselman’50, H’05, P’75 died peacefully yesterday after succumbing to lung cancer. His daughters were at his side. He lived 87 full years.
“A Utica native raised in Watertown, Fran was part of the ‘The Greatest Generation,’ entering the U.S. Navy after high school and serving as a gunner’s mate in the Pacific during World War II. He subsequently enrolled at Hamilton, as his father had done a generation earlier, and graduated in 1950. Having earned his law degree from Columbia University in 1953, he began a distinguished legal career with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, winning acclaim as a specialist in bankruptcy law, corporate reorganization and international business transactions. He retired from the firm in 1990 as presiding partner.
“Fran joined the Kirkland College Board of Trustees in 1971 and was elected chairman the following year. He served with wisdom during the time that Hamilton and Kirkland merged in 1978, at which point he joined the Hamilton Board of Trustees. During his long tenure as a member of two boards on College Hill he was a loyal, passionate and articulate advocate for women’s education. He also served as chair of the Trustee Development Committee for the 175th Anniversary Campaign, which provided funds for the endowment and supported construction of the Schambach Center and Bristol Pool and renovation of the James Library into the Christian A. Johnson Building.
“In addition to Fran’s father and his daughter, Carol Musselman Kuntz K’75, other family members who matriculated on College Hill include two brothers, an uncle and several nephews. In his 50th Reunion Yearbook, he described in a single word what Hamilton meant to him: “‘Everything.’”