January 13, 2012
To Members of the Bowdoin Community,
I write with deep sadness to let you know that Trustee of the College Alan R. Titus of the Class of 1962 passed away yesterday, January 12, from congestive heart failure. Throughout his years as a loyal alumnus, capital campaign leader, Alumni Fund Director and Chair, and Trustee, Alan was a champion of increasing the diversity of the student body, creating opportunities through scholarships, maintaining high standards for the academic program, and improving the campus landscape and facilities. He worked tirelessly to secure the resources to bring about these outcomes at the College he loved so much.
Alan was born on November 3, 1940, in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from Warwick Veterans Memorial High School. At Bowdoin he was a history major, president of Theta Delta Chi Fraternity station manager for WBOR radio for two years, member of Masque & Gown, and an ROTC cadet. Following his graduation, he served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965, attained the rank of first lieutenant, and received the Army Commendation Medal.
He embarked on a distinguished 37-year career with E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. in 1965 as a marketing representative and held a number of product management and managerial positions. In 1969 Alan married Susan Barnes, and they would later have two daughters, Sara, and Alison (who would become a member of the Class of 1997). He undertook graduate study in business management at the Stern School of Business at New York University from 1970 to 1972 before being transferred to Wilmington, Delaware. In the course of his career, Alan was twice transferred to Geneva, Switzerland, first as business director of the Textile Fibers Department, with responsibilities for research and development and marketing for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and later as vice president and managing director of DuPont’s European nylon business. In the late 1980s he was the worldwide business director of TYVEK, the company’s highest growth business. Under Alan’s leadership and management, DuPont Global Services transformed the company’s centralized staff functions and services into a demand-driven business model that became an industry standard. Alan retired from DuPont in 2002.
In Bowdoin affairs, Alan took on leadership positions in three capital campaigns and was a long-standing member of 1962’s Reunion committees over the years, serving as Special Gifts Chair. As a young alumnus, Alan was involved in minority student recruitment for the College with BASIC in the New York City area, and an early advocate for seeking superior students nationwide and internationally. He was also president of the Bowdoin Club of Wilmington Delaware in the 1970s. In 1988 he established the Alice G. and Frederick Titus Scholarship Fund at the College in memory of his parents. He served on the Alumni Council, and was elected to a three-year term as a director of the Alumni Fund in 1999 and as Chair of the Alumni Fund in 2001-02 and 2002-03. In 2004 Alan was elected to the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees, where he continued to provide a clear and thoughtful voice on a broad range of issues.
Alan was committed to public service and to a transformative role for education. In Bermuda, where he had a home, he served on the Environmental Committee of the National Trust of Bermuda, as development director for Knowledge Quest, and as board chair and development director for the Center for Talented Youth.
We share with Alan’s wife, Susan, their daughters Sara and Alison, and their families a deep sense of loss at the passing of this extraordinary business leader, whose generosity of spirit lives on in the hearts of the Bowdoin family. We will pass along word of memorial services when that information becomes available.