Beloved trustee Stanley Frank dies at age 91

Stanley Frank, member of Guilford College’s Board of Trustees for 36 years, died on Jan. 2. Services were held at Temple Emanuel, where approximately 600 people gathered to pay their respects. The procession stopped at the Frank Family Science Center to hear prayers from professor and rabbi Jonathan Malino.

Frank was buried at Hebrew Cemetery.

Frank was more than a trustee. He was a friend, confidant and mentor to four Guilford presidents; and he offered his brilliance, his support and his smile to any member of the Guilford community.

“Stanley had a commanding presence, but a visible compassion to go with it,” said Jon Varnell, Director of Facilities and Campus Services.

Frank was chair of the Building and Grounds Committee and one of the top donors in Guilford’s history, leaving behind the Frank Family Science Center and the steps of New Garden Hall. Frank’s theory of buildings mimicked his lifestyle: he believed a strong infrastructure was far more important than a flashy appearance.

Frank did more than donate money, however. He created opportunity.

“Stanley didn’t just give you something,” said Joyce Eaton, Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees and close friend to Frank. “He opened doors and expected you to walk through, work hard and then open that door for someone else.”

One door that Stanley opened for Guilford students is the Frank Fellows Scholarship Program. This program allows students interested in business to work closely with entrepreneurs from the Greensboro area to help them gain real world experience. Frank dedicated himself fully to the scholarship program and made a point to meet and speak with every student participating.

Guilford was only one of Frank’s many ventures in life. He was also an executive advisor to Wake Forest University and UNCG, and received honorary degrees from both schools.

Frank led the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority Board and played an integral role in the building of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

“There wasn’t a business, civic or cultural group that he did not impact in a positive way,” said Patricia Sullivan, UNCG Chancellor. “He was unfailingly kind, generous and modest about his many contributions and involvements.”

Frank approached his spiritual life with the same dedication. He held membership at the Temple Emanuel during his years in the Greensboro area, and served as the temple’s president for two years. Frank supported and funded both the new and old temples when the congregation grew too large for their downtown location and were forced to build a larger temple on the outskirts of the city.

Frank moved to the Greensboro area in the mid 1930s and began his own business, Carolina By-Products, with no college education. In his later years with the company, Frank never fired someone unless absolutely necessary. Instead he would retrain and transfer them to another outpost of the company.

Frank devoted himself fully to everything he did, yet his love for his family never waned. He was married to his wife Dorothy for 69 years and raised two sons, Barry and Bill. Mutual respect was the infrastructure of Stanley and Dorothy’s relationship and the glue that held their marriage together. Despite all of Frank’s success and power in the business world, he acknowledged Dorothy’s importance in his life.

“Stanley never made a decision by himself and you’d always hear him say, ‘Well I’ll have to talk to Dorothy again,’ ” said Eaton. “With all he did for Guilford and for Greensboro, when he walked in that door at home, Dorothy was the boss.”

“Stanley Frank was a giant of his generation; he was a giant of this community,” said Rabbi Guttman in his sermon. “He was a loving husband and father. He was a compassionate employer and a businessman-par excellence. He was an advocate for Greensboro unlike any that this community has ever known and probably unlike any this community will ever know. He was a mover, a shaker, a doer and a person whose accomplishments are so varied. For me, Stanley Frank was a friend, and I, together with all of you, will miss him dearly.