Arizona Senior Academy
UA will honor Henry Koffler on Monday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Crowder Hall. He was the first alumnus president, who graduated with a bachelor's degree from UA in 1943.
Henry Koffler was the first alumnus president of the University of Arizona and died in March at 95-years-old. On Monday, Nov. 19, UA will be honoring Koffler with a tribute to his life.
Koffler was president for nine years in which UA saw increases in enrollment by 30 percent. Koffler led the Century II Capital Campaign, the UA’s first major fundraising activity with a goal of $100 million and he raised $198 million. He also led UA as it was elected to membership in the Association of American Universities which is the top 62 research universities in the U.S. and Canada. Koffler allowed the UA community to reach international commerce with ties to Mexico, Canada and the United Kingdom among others.
He expanded the general education and honors programs and started the first online student information system. Koffler invested in central computing capacity, facilitated collaborations with community colleges and won efforts to improve enrollment rates and graduation rates of undeserved students.
Also, several new teaching and research buildings were constructed during his tenure that are still here today including the Chemistry and Biological Sciences Building, renamed the Henry Koffler Building in 2000, the Gould Simpson building, a new Center for Creative Photography, the Karl Eller Center, now known as the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and a renovated Centennial Hall.
He was vice president of academic affairs at the University of Minnesota, several positions including department head of biological sciences at Purdue University and he was chancellor of the University of Massachusetts when he was chosen to become the 16th president of the University of Arizona.
He earned a bachelor’s degree at UA in 1943, a master’s degree from University of Wisconsin in 1944 and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in 1947. He earned many awards and recognitions for being a distinguished microbiologist and biochemist including the Guggenheim fellowship and the Eli Lilly Award in Bacteriology and Immunology.
The tribute will take place from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in The Fred Fox School of Music at Crowder Hall.