Remembering Dr. Thomas W. Murnane, A58, D62, DG65, AG68, J97P
March 26, 2014
IN MEMORIAM—Dr. Thomas W. Murnane
July 18, 1936 - March 20, 2014
After a lengthy illness, Dr. Thomas W. Murnane, A58, D62, DG65, AG68, J97P, who served as senior vice president for University Development at Tufts University from 1976 - 2003, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2014.
He was the loving husband of Janice Elizabeth (Gregory) Murnane, J97P, with whom he shared more than 48 years of marriage. Along with his wife, Jan, he leaves a son, Timothy Murnane of Marblehead, and his wife, Maura Phelan Murnane; two daughters, Tracey Murnane of Peabody, and Melissa Murnane Scorzoni, J97, of Amesbury and her husband Christian; and five grandchildren, Conor and Owen Murnane, and Andrew, William, and Olivia Scorzoni. Dr. Murnane also leaves two sisters, Joyce Gelzer, J64, of Georgia and MaryLou Murnane of Maryland.
Born and raised in Belmont, Mass., Dr. Murnane graduated from Tufts in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He then went on to the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM), earning his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree in 1962, an Advanced Dental Certification in 1965, and later, a Doctor of Philosophy from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1968.
Dr. Murnane's esteemed professional career also began at Tufts, where he taught at both the dental and medical schools, and where he served as acting dean of TUSDM. In 1976, he met the newly installed president, Dr. Jean Mayer, H93, and together they embarked on a journey that transformed the university. President Mayer appointed Dr. Murnane as vice president for University Development and announced a $140 million campaign. The Mayer-Murnane team not only led that successful campaign, but also the following $240 million effort.
During the presidency of Dr. John DiBiaggio, H02, in the 1990s, Dr. Murnane presided over a $600 million campaign. And during his time as vice president and then senior vice president of Tufts University, he led campaigns that raised one billion dollars for the university. Former colleagues Professor Sol Gittleman, H10, A85P, and Steven Manos, H08, A07P, remark that Dr. Murnane's life revolved around two orbits: his family and Tufts.
His human touch and his charm made him not only a formidable fundraiser but an endearing friend. Off the Hill, he was dedicated to his family and his love of the ocean. On any given weekend he could be found on his boat, Ah Mais, cruising the coast of the North Shore and enjoying his membership at the Corinthian Yacht Club. When Dr. Murnane was not on the water he was in his garden or traveling all over the world with Jan on behalf of Tufts.
Funeral Services were held on Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 10:00 am at the Solimine Funeral Home in Lynn, Mass., followed by a funeral mass at Our Lady, Star of the Sea Church in Marblehead at 11:00 am. Dr. Murnane rests at the Waterside Cemetery in Marblehead, by the sea.