Statements from University President and GW Board Chairman on the Passing of Charles Manatt

Chuck Manatt
July 23, 2011

Statement from Steven Knapp, President of the George Washington University

It is my sad duty to report that George Washington Chairman Emeritus Charles T. Manatt died last night in Richmond.

Chuck Manatt – as we all knew him – was a prominent public figure, known nationally for his role as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1981 to 1985 and later (1999-2001) for his service as United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He was also a distinguished alumnus (J.D. 1962) and a tireless supporter of the George Washington University and its Law School. He was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1980 to 2008 and Chairman of the Board from 2001 to 2007. He served the university in countless ways, forging relationships with business and government and leading the Board during a period in which the university grew remarkably both in size and in academic distinction.

To help law students from developing countries learn the intricacies of international human rights and commercial rights law, Ambassador Manatt and his wife Kathleen funded an endowed professorship in the international rule of law. He joined Frank Fahrenkopf, his counterpart as former chairman of the Republican National Committee, in endowing a guest lectureship in the Graduate School of Political Management. During his Board chairmanship, the university developed the Strategic Plan for Academic Excellence and approved a fixed tuition and guaranteed aid policy. Under his stewardship, George Washington also became the first university in the nation's capital to reach a $1 billion endowment.

In addition to his roles as a statesman and university leader, Ambassador Manatt founded the widely respected law practice of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and served on the Board of the Wesley Foundation, the Mayo Foundation, the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. He was a member of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Board of Directors of FedEx Corporation, and the Board of Directors of Oak Value Management Inc.

Ambassador Manatt’s extraordinary vision, vigorous personality, and generous spirit will be sorely missed.

Visitation will take place Monday, July 25, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church, 3401 Nebraska Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016. Funeral services in Audubon, Iowa will follow later this week.


Statement from W. Russell Ramsey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the George Washington University

While the university community, and indeed the entire country, mourns the loss of Ambassador Charles T. Manatt, a great statesman and advocate for education and public service, I am personally saddened by the passing of my longtime friend and mentor. In my 30-year relationship with Ambassador Manatt, he was unfailingly generous with his time and his knowledge. And I learned so much from him about our university community, and the ways in which we all can contribute to and share its vast opportunities. My wife, Norma, and I extend our fond and sincere condolences to Kathy and their family.





Candace Smith - (202) 994-3566 - [email protected]
Jill Sankey - (202) 994-6466 - [email protected]



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