Trustee Dr. Frank Baldino Jr. passes away at age 57

A Temple alumnus and member of the Board of Trustees  died of leukemia.

Dr. Frank Baldino Jr., a Temple alumnus who served on the university’s Board of Trustees, died last month of leukemia at age 57.

“Frank’s absence will be a tremendous loss to our board and the School of Medicine, where he was an adjunct professor of pharmacology and the entire Temple University community,” President Ann Weaver Hart and Board of Trustees Chairman Patrick O’Connor wrote in a joint statement. “We were repeatedly impressed with Frank’s energy and enthusiasm for Temple, particularly his passion for enhancing Temple’s reputation in the medical and business communities.”

As a former DuPont scientist and the founder and chief executive officer of Cephalon Inc., a biotechnology firm with annual revenues north of $2 billion, Baldino joined the board in 2001 and went on to chair the medical school’s Board of Visitors.

Having earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology from Temple, Baldino said he owed a debt of gratitude to the university.

“It’s time for me to give something back. We have to increase the level of philanthropy coming into the university,” Baldino said to the Temple Times in a 2004 interview. “Many people have been educated here, patients have been helped here. They should step up and give something back.”

Baldino also said he was inspired by the leadership at Temple.

“When visionary leaders like board Chairman Howard Gittis and Medical School Dean John Daly ask you to help, you do it just to be associated with them,” Baldino said to the Temple Times. “Howard works nonstop for Temple, and the talent that John has attracted to the Med. School is remarkable.”

Board member Daniel Polett, who worked with Baldino, said he was positive and compassionate.

“I’ll remember Frank’s ability to truly understand the situation and then respond to it in a very direct and positive way,” Polett said. “With Frank, you knew [you] were in the presence of an extraordinarily intelligent human being.”

“He was concise, and he was strong but always compassionate,” Polett added.

Baldino’s service to the community extended beyond Temple. He sat on the Board of Trustees at the University of Sciences of Philadelphia and at the Franklin Institute, as well as on the Board of Observers for Muhlenberg College in Allentown, where he studied as an undergraduate.

Outside of academia, Baldino founded Generocity.org, an upcoming online publication dedicated to promoting philanthropy in the Greater Philadelphia region, with his wife, Sandra.

Committed to growing the pharmaceutical industry’s presence in the Philadelphia region,

Baldino served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, among other organizations.

In March, Baldino’s peers will pay tribute to his wide range of accomplishments.

“Dr. Baldino was an inspiring leader who worked tirelessly on behalf of an entire industry through science, partnerships and a commitment to making the state’s bioscience community the world leader,” Christopher P. Molineaux, president of Pennsylvania Bio, a collaborative of biotech firms, wrote on the organization’s website. “We are dedicating our 2011 Annual Dinner and renaming our CEO Award in his honor to recognize his vision and unwavering commitment to patients and to the Commonwealth’s bioscience industry.”

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Baldino is survived by his wife, and their two sons, Douglas, 6, and Harris, 1. He is also survived by children from a previous marriage, sons, Jeff, 28, and James, 21, and a daughter, Leslie, 26.

Donald Hoegg can be reached at donald.hoegg@temple.edu.

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