“I thought that it was the right time to make a substantial commitment to TU’s future and hope it inspires others to support TU. My goal is that a fellow alum will quickly follow my gift with an even larger gift.”
Towson University alumnus Fran Soistman Jr. ’79 has been a proud Tiger for more than 40 years. In 2015 he received an honorary doctorate degree from TU that read, in part, “He approaches complex issues with the university’s best interests at heart—unfailingly thoughtful, inclusive and focused on the ultimate goal.”
With a recent $5.4 million gift—the largest from an alumnus/a in TU history— Soistman, a nationally recognized expert and top executive in the health care management sector, has continued to demonstrate his boundless affection for his alma mater. His first gift to TU in the late 1980s was followed by many additional contributions totaling more than $600,000 in support of projects and initiatives across the institution.
“Over the past 30 years, I have had the pleasure of establishing multiple endowments and supporting a number of important initiatives at TU. Given the university’s strong momentum and significant opportunities to advance its ambitious vision, I thought that it was the right time to make a substantial commitment to TU’s future,” he says. “I hope it inspires others to support the university. My goal is that a fellow alum will quickly follow my gift with an even larger gift.”
President Kim Schatzel thanked Soistman for his generosity.
“Dr. Soistman’s gift is a remarkable extension of his legacy of generosity towards his alma mater. With this gift, Fran will help ensure that the university continues to attract talented students and provides enhanced resources to faculty and staff to support outstanding world-class research, teaching, and student success,” President Kim Schatzel said. “His gift is historic, and Fran’s leadership over the years has been extraordinary. And this gift further demonstrates that — as the largest gift ever given to Towson University by an alum.”
Dr. Soistman’s gift is a remarkable extension of his legacy of generosity towards his alma mater. –President Kim Schatzel
Soistman is the Founder and President of Healthcare Management & Transformation Advisory Services LLC. He retired as CVS Health-Aetna’s executive vice president and president of government services in 2019 after serving as Executive Vice President at Coventry Health Care and President and CEO at HealthAmerica.
Throughout his career, Soistman has remained strongly connected to TU. He has served on the Towson University Board of Visitors (BOV) since 2002 and as chair from 2016-18. He also served as a director on the TU Foundation – one of his earliest volunteer roles with the university.
His $5.4 million gift to TU will benefit athletics, the College of Health Professions, the College of Business & Economics and programming to advance equity, diversity and inclusion.
Learning from the past
“I have learned a lot since I began my service to TU,” Soistman says. “I see higher ed through a different lens today. I can see where the needs are—unfiltered.”
He recognizes that every gift, even his first one of $25 to the TU Fund in 1989, has the power to impact the lives and careers of TU students. Soistman acknowledges that his gift won’t address all of TU’s needs but knows his gift will advance a number of the university’s strategic goals. Moreover, he hopes his gift inspires others to consider how they too might support the mission of TU.
This gift helps energize fundraising in 2020 after what has been consecutive years of record fundraising.
“Fran stepping forward is important and powerful for us,” says Brian DeFilippis, vice president for University Advancement. “Our students always come first, and this record gift ensures that the important work of helping our students navigate the path to lifelong success will continue.”