01 Sep 2018

Remembering Dick Spangler


Photo by Webb Chappell

HBS friend, benefactor, and alumnus C.D. (“Dick”) Spangler (MBA 1956) died on July 22 at age 86. After graduating from HBS and serving for two years in the US Army, Spangler led several companies to notable successes, including the family construction business (today National Gypsum) and the Bank of North Carolina (now Bank of America), where he served as chair during the 1980s and played a key role in the firm’s merger with the North Carolina National Bank Corporation.

With a lifelong passion for education, Spangler also oversaw the schooling of more than a million students as chair of North Carolina’s Board of Education from 1982 to 1986. As president of the University of North Carolina (based at its Chapel Hill campus) from 1986 to 1997, he increased enrollment and faculty funding while prioritizing educational quality and affordability.

In 1988, Spangler received the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest distinction at HBS. In 2005, the University honored him with the Harvard Medal, in appreciation for his many contributions to Harvard; in 2013 Harvard awarded him an honorary doctor of laws degree. The Spangler family—including his wife, Meredith Riggs Spangler, and two daughters, Anna Spangler Nelson (MBA 1988) and Abigail Riggs Spangler—made a gift to the School for the construction of the Spangler Center, a building that has become the hub of MBA student life. An HBS professorship (held by Bill Kirby) also bears the family’s name.

In announcing his passing to the HBS community, Executive Dean for Administration Angela Crispi (MBA 1990) and Dean Nitin Nohria said, “Throughout his life and career, Mr. Spangler epitomized the mission of the School, making a difference in the world and in the lives of so many others—he was a kind and true gentleman whom we will always admire and greatly miss.”

Read the complete HBS remembrance

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1988, Section E
Class of MBA 1990, Section D

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