On Thursday, Jan. 19, former Webster University president Jacqueline Grennan Wexler was found dead in her Orlando, Fla. residence. Wexler died in her sleep. She was 85 years old.
Wexler held the presidency from 1965 to 1969, seeing then Webster College through a transition of governance- she helped remove power from the Sisters of Loretto to a lay board of trustees in 1967. This brought Webster out of the Catholic church as a secular school. Wexler also saw the construction of the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts during her four years.
A former Sister of Loretto herself, Wexler abdicated the sisterhood to marry Paul Wexler. She went on to Hunter College in 1970, where she served as president for nine years. In 1982, Wexler became president of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and in her lifetime was the first woman elected to the United Technologies Corp. board of directors. In 2007 she was given an honorary degree from the university.
Webster Today said in a post Friday that Webster will host an on-campus memorial in the near future. Wexler’s funeral will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, at McDonald Funeral Home in Rockfalls, Ill.