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Remembering Herb Baum, BN’59

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020

It is with profound sadness that Drake University shares the news that former Trustee, generous philanthropist, and alumnus Herbert M. Baum passed away Monday morning, April 20, at the age of 83.

Herb was a proud Bulldog and transformative leader who gave generously of his time and financial resources to make the world a better place. He served on the Drake University Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2014, including leading the Athletic Affairs Committee from 2012 to 2104. Herb was honored with the Alumni Achievement Award in 1989 and the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010.

“Herb was a beloved friend to many at Drake, caring deeply about the University and the impact it has on society,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “Herb’s passions for ethical business leadership, Drake Athletics, and STEM education will live on through projects he and his wife Karen helped make possible. The entire Drake community sends an outpouring of love and condolences to Karen and the rest of Herb’s family.”

Herb and Karen provided funds and leadership to create the Herb and Karen Baum Chair of Ethics and the Professions and an accompanying symposium. The Herbert and Karen Baum Symposium on Ethics is designed to encourage careful and collaborative scrutiny of a contemporary issue of ethics that impacts communities and leaders in business, education, journalism, law, and other professional fields.

“Herb Baum showed tremendous clarity of thought and generosity of spirit in creating the Herb and Karen Baum Chair of Ethics and the Professions to highlight ethical leadership at Drake University, and challenge our faculty to continue to engage the community of practitioners related to our disciplinary fields,” said Renee Cramer, professor of law, politics, and society and current Baum chair. “I look forward to fulfilling Herb’s vision as chair and through the Baum Symposium in spring 2021 and beyond.”

Over the course of a long and fulfilling career, Herb held many business leadership roles, including chairman, president, and CEO of the Dial Corporation, and leadership positions at Hasbro Inc., Quaker State Corporation, and the Campbell Soup Company. He also served on many corporate boards, including Meredith Corporation, PepsiAmericas, Midas, and Playtex Products. In keeping with Herb’s passion for leadership, he authored The Transparent Leader: How to Build a Great Company Through Straight Talk, Openness and Accountability. Additionally, Herb was a tireless supporter of animal welfare and a proponent of pet adoption through Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic & Ranch, a no-kill shelter to which he devoted many years of service.

Herb is survived by his wife, Karen; daughter Dina Calloway and her husband, Tommy Calloway; son Marc Goldfarb; and a granddaughter and a grandson. Final arrangements are pending.

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