Former development executive Bob Pringle killed by train at 54

Bob Pringle

Bob Pringle

Robert C. Pringle, a former associate vice president and director of development marketing for the Office of Development, died on Jan. 18 after being struck by a train in Menlo Park. Pringle, a Menlo Park resident, was 54.

Pringle worked for Stanford from 1997 to 2002, overseeing marketing for the Stanford Fund and for the Campaign for Undergraduate Education (CUE). His affiliation with the university, however, began decades ago. A graduate of Woodland High School in Woodland, Calif., Pringle earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford in economics and history in 1972 and later served as a volunteer for the university.

"Bob's love and enthusiastic support of Stanford were evident in everything he did. This made him a great treasure to have in our midst: first as a student, then as a supporter and volunteer and, finally, as associate vice president," said President John Hennessy. "In particular, Bob's contributions at the beginning of the Campaign for Undergraduate Education were absolutely vital. We will miss Bob every day-as an alumnus, a professional colleague and, most profoundly, as a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."

"Bob played a major role in the development of The Stanford Fund and helped shape the 'Think Again' tour, which carried the message of Stanford's renaissance in undergraduate education to alumni and friends around the country," said John Ford, vice president for development. The Think Again program was a national tour of faculty and students that visited 12 cities in seven months in 2001-2002.

"Bob contributed in many ways to Stanford's recent achievement of CUE's $1 billion goal," Ford said. "Bob's death leaves a tremendous void in the Office of Development family."

Pringle was born on Sept. 15, 1950, and grew up in Woodland. After graduating from Stanford, he earned an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University in 1980.

Before coming to work at Stanford, Pringle served as executive director and principal at Landor Associates in San Francisco, where he worked from 1988 to 1997 on accounts including the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games of 1996 and the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games of 2002. Pringle previously had worked in San Francisco for the firms of Crown Zellerbach and J. Walter Thompson. He most recently was chief marketing officer for the law firm of Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe.

Pringle also served on the board of the Child and Family Institute and was active in the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Menlo Park. He was a member of the Filoli Center board, the Menlo Country Club and the Bohemian Club. A high school swimming star, Pringle swam regularly at the Avery Aquatic Center, golfed and hiked with his family.

"Bob was such a tremendous support for everyone. He was always willing to help anyone who was in need. I could not have asked for a more supportive husband and I don't think you could find a more supportive father," recalled his wife, Margaret Ely Pringle. "His children were really his life," she added.

In addition to his wife, Pringle is survived by three children, Abby, David and Will Pringle; his mother, Janet Pringle of Portola Valley; and his mother- and father-in-law, Shirley and Leonard Ely of Palo Alto.

A memorial service will be held at Memorial Church at 3 p.m. on Jan. 24. (Parking will be available on levels 3 and 4 of the Stock Farm Parking Structure on the Sand Hill Road side of campus and shuttles to and from the service will begin at 2 p.m. Vehicles should enter the parking structure on Oak Road.)

Memorial donations can be made to: Stanford University, Gift Processing, 326 Galvez St., Stanford, CA 94305-6105; or to the Child and Family Institute, 330 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025.