In memoriam

Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr., former chairman of UD's board, dies


8:38 a.m., Jan. 24, 2014--Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr., former chairman of the University of Delaware Board of Trustees, died Jan. 18. He was 85.

Elected to UD's Board of Trustees in 1982, he was named chairman in 1988 and served in that capacity for 11 years. When he stepped down as chairman in 1999, he was recognized for his stewardship during a period when the campus’ beauty was enhanced and the board’s effectiveness was improved through the establishment of visiting committees in the areas of investment, architecture and landscaping. These committees capitalized on the expertise of both trustee and non-trustee members. Mr. Kirkpatrick also played an instrumental role in the advancement of UD’s academic excellence during his tenure and in the selection of David Roselle as president.

In 1999, the board resolved to establish the Unidel Andrew B. Kirkpatrick Jr. Chair in Writing to recognize and encourage extraordinary proficiency in teaching others to listen and read with penetrating analysis and understanding, and to write with adroitness and simplicity. The position was funded by the Unidel Foundation to promote good writing in every discipline across the campus.

When Mr. Kirkpatrick retired from the Board in 2003, he was named Honorary Counselor, recognizing his long and distinguished service to the University. It was only the second time the designation had been awarded, the first to Judge Hugh M. Morris in 1959. 

In 2005, Mr. Kirkpatrick was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Delaware. The resolution cited his "sustained vision and his harmonizing of the elements of the University and the connections with government and the community at large" and also noted his "good political instincts that helped in building important relations with governors and legislators, his understanding of the forces challenging higher education and his exceptional breadth of knowledge of university governance."  

About Mr. Kirkpatrick

Born Jan. 16, 1929, in Asheville, N.C., he graduated cum laude from Davidson College in 1949, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1954 he received an LLB magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review and the Lincoln's Inn Society. 

During the Korean War, in 1951-53, he served in the Army, primarily with the 31st Infantry Regiment. He received the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Army Commendation Medal.

His professional career began as law clerk to Chief Judge John Biggs Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Thereafter Mr. Kirkpatrick worked more than 40 years with the Wilmington law firm of Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell, principally in litigation, until his retirement when he became Of Counsel to the firm.

Active in legal affairs broadly, he served for eight years as chairman of the Delaware Supreme Court's Censor Committee (now the Board on Professional Responsibility). He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation. He held various posts, including that of president, with the Delaware State Bar Association. In June 1991, he received an award from the American Judicature Society for "his outstanding contributions to the improvement of the administration of justice." He was profiled in Who's Who in America for many years.

Mr. Kirkpatrick was president of the Active Young Republicans of New Castle County and a leader in William V. Roth's early campaigns for office. In community activities, he chaired the Kennett Pike Association and the Governor's Commission on Organized Crime. He served on the board of the Delaware Academy of Medicine and as a director of Wilmington Trust Co. He also served on the board of Wilmington Country Club and was a member of the Wilmington Club and Vicmead Hunt Club. In 1999, for his "meritorious service on behalf of the citizens of the state of Delaware," he was awarded the Governor's Order of the First State.

He was a trustee of the Tatnall School and later a trustee of the Unidel Foundation. 

He enjoyed spending time boating on the Chesapeake Bay with his family, fine dining and other many and varied interests. 

Mr. Kirkpatrick is survived by his wife of 60 years, Frances C. Kirkpatrick, and their three children, Christine Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Melissa Richmond and Charles Kirkpatrick, his two grandchildren, Alex Stephanie Richmond and Andrew Richmond, as well as his sister, Mrs. Marianne Cameron, all of Wilmington, Del., and a host of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews.

Burial will be private on Jan. 24 at Lower Brandywine Cemetery. A celebration of his life is planned for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the University of Delaware. Please send contributions to: University of Delaware, Gifts Processing, 83 East Main St, 3rd Fl., Newark, DE 19716. Make checks payable to "University of Delaware" and include on the memo line Mr. Kirkpatrick's name.

Online condolences may be left at the Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematory website

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