Deceased April 28, 2016

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In Memory

Loyal Amherst alumnus David Ferner died on April 28. A native of Rochester, N.Y., he came to Amherst from John Marshall High School, where he developed a love for the arts and music. As an undergraduate David was a member of Delta Upsilon.

David found the College to be a life-enriching place that enabled him to mature while benefiting from the best liberal arts education. He majored in economics but ended up with more credits in music, culminating a lifetime interest. David was the principal percussionist in the College band, serving as student director senior year. He enjoyed playing and marching at football games, touring Smith and Mount Holyoke and leading the brass choir in December 1954.

David continued his education by earning a master’s in education from the University of Rochester and a doctorate in education from Columbia in 1961. In those years and shortly following, he was director of student activities at Rochester and served as development officer at St. Lawrence University and Sarah Lawrence College.

In 1966 David started the first of two consulting careers, culminating with becoming vice president and director of development of the world-class Minnesota Orchestra, managing the largest endowment campaign for orchestras in America up to that time. In 1987 David left the orchestra and returned to consulting, using his national experience in working with all types of nonprofits, but mostly in education and the arts.

In 1958 David married Ursula Thieme, a native of Germany. By 1997, having had enough of Minnesota winters, they moved to Destin, Fla., where David continued to work while the two of them enjoyed going to the beaches, playing tennis and traveling. Sadly, Ursula died of cancer in 2002. David is survived by three children.

Rob Sowersby ’55