Marblehead — After a lengthy illness, Dr. Thomas W. Murnane passed away peacefully on March 20, 2014.
He was the loving husband of Janice Elizabeth (Gregory) Murnane with whom he shared over 48 years of marriage. Dr. Murnane was born on July 18, 1936, and was raised in Belmont, MA. Dr. Murnane and his family relocated to Marblehead, MA in 1978. Along with his wife, Jan, he leaves a son, Timothy Murnane of Marblehead and his wife, Maura Phelan Murnane, and two grandsons, Conor and Owen; he also leaves two daughters, Tracey Ellen Murnane of Peabody, and Melissa Murnane Scorzoni of Amesbury and her husband, Christian, and three grandchildren, Andrew, William and Olivia. Dr. Murnane also leaves two sisters, Joyce Gelzer of Georgia and MaryLou Murnane of Maryland.
Dr. Murnane’s esteemed career began at Tufts University where he obtained four academic degrees including a bachelor’s degree; a D.M.D., a postgraduate certificate in oral and maxillofacial surgery and a Ph.D. Early in his career at Tufts he taught at both the Dental and Medical School and served as acting Dean of the Dental School for a period of time. Dr. Murnane’s career spanned over 40 years at Tufts.
In 1976, he met the newly installed President, Jean Mayer, and together they embarked on a journey that transformed Tufts University. President Mayer appointed Dr. Murnane Vice-President for Development, and announced a $140 million campaign. The Mayer-Murnane team led not only to a successful campaign, but also followed up with another $240 million effort. During the Presidency of John DiBiaggio in the 1990s, Dr. Murnane presided over a $600 million campaign. During Dr. Murnane’s time as Vice-President and then Senior Vice-President of Tufts University, he led campaigns that raised one billion dollars for his Alma Mater.
Former colleagues, Sol Gittleman and Steve Manos remarked, “Thomas Murnane's life revolved around two orbits: his family and Tufts University. Tom’s human touch and his charm made him not only a formidable fundraiser but an endearing friend.”