Matt Branam had big plans for the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he earned a degree in civil engineering and returned in 2009 as the school's 14th president.
He wanted to boost the school's national reputation for science and engineering to a worldwide level. But first, he wanted to hear lots of ideas about how to do it, so he launched a national listening tour he called "The Great Debate." He started in January, hit Chicago last weekend and was planning to continue traveling widely through the summer.
But the ambitious plan was cut short. On Friday, Branam, 57, suffered an unspecified medical emergency in his office and was taken by ambulance to Union Hospital, where he died shortly afterward, the school said. Details were not available.
Branam's death cast a pall that extended well beyond the institute's small campus in Terre Haute.