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Ray Siegfried - alumnus, trustee, benefactor - dies

by Matthew V. Storin

October 6, 2005

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Raymond H. Siegfried II, 62, a longtime member of the University of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees and one of the most generous benefactors in the University’s history, died Thursday (Oct. 6) in Tulsa, Okla.

A 1965 graduate of Notre Dame, Siegfried was chairman of the board of the NORDAM Group, an international aerospace manufacturer.

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president, said, “The Notre Dame family today lost one of its most cherished members, a man whose wisdom, leadership and generosity will be felt on this campus for all time.  We will miss his warm friendship and will be inspired by the courage he showed while tested by medical challenges in the past few years.  Along with our prayers, our deepest sympathy goes to Milann, his wife, and all the Siegfried family.”

For the past several years, the Notre Dame trustee had been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), but maintained an active schedule, including regular visits to the Notre Dame campus.

Siegfried, Milann, and their family underwrote the Siegfried Building in the Mendoza College of Business; were the benefactors of Siegfried Hall, a men’s residence; and established the Ray and Milann Siegfried Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies, which is held by Carolyn Y. Woo, Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business.

Until very recently, Siegfried would annually host a dinner for the men of Siegfried Hall and reveled in the hall’s success in intramural sports.

In May 1995, Siegfried received an honorary doctor of law degree from Notre Dame at the University’s 150th Commencement Exercises, and in May 2002, he received an honorary degree from the University of Portland.

He and Milann were honored in 2000 with a humanitarian award from the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. And the same year, the University of Tulsa’s College of Business Administration gave him the Business Person of the Year Award.  He was inducted into Tulsa Historical Society’s Tulsa Hall of Fame in October 2002.

Last year, the International Astronomical Union (IAU)  named an asteroid in honor of  Siegfried. The idea to honor Siegfried came from Terrence Rettig, professor of physics at Notre Dame, for support the Notre Dame trustee had given to Rettig’s curriculum and the professor’s desire to recognize his courage in coping with his illness.

Siegfried has served on the board of directors for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Oklahoma State University at Tulsa, University of Tulsa, American Boxing Federation, University of Portland, Tulsa Aerospace Alliance, Tulsa Community Foundation and the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. He also served on the National Review Board of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Ray and Milann Siegfried have six children, Tray, Hastings, Meredith, Milannie, Terrell and Bailey.

A Rosary service will be held Sunday (Oct. 9) at 8 p.m. in St. Rita Chapel, Cascia Hall, 220 South Yorktown, Tulsa.  Funeral services will be held at Holy Family Cathedral on Monday at 10 a.m. at Holy Family Cathedral, 122 W. 8th St., Tulsa.  On Tuesday at 2 p.m., a Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus, followed by the Rite of Committal in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Notre Dame.   At 4 p.m. the University will hold a reception with the Siegfried family in the atrium and Siegfried Building of the Mendoza College of Business.  All friends of the family are invited to attend.


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