Robert Day, W.M. Keck founder, philanthropist and business leader, passes away at 79: Obituary

Los Angeles, California – Robert A. Day, an influential leader, philanthropist, and visionary, passed away on September 14, 2023, at the age of 79. Day’s legacy is deeply woven into the realms of business, philanthropy, and education, leaving an indelible mark on institutions and communities.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute shared Robert Addison Day’s death,

Simi Valley, California – The Reagan Foundation and Institute mourns the loss of American business executive and philanthropist Robert Day who was the founder of Trust Company of the West and who served as Chairman and President of the W.M. Keck Foundation.President Reagan always appreciated Robert Day’s business acumen and admired his generous philanthropic support to so many worthy causes across America.Robert Day’s advice and counsel was sought nationwide. In 2002, he served on President Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, which advises the President on intelligence collection, counterintelligence and foreign intelligence activities.Robert Day served with distinction on the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute since 2017. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go to his wife, Marlyn, his three children, and to the entire Day family.

Day, a Los Angeles native, made significant contributions as the Chairman and former CEO of the W.M. Keck Foundation. His vision was pivotal in the growth of the University of Southern California (USC) and the advancement of Keck Medicine of USC, significantly impacting health and education in Los Angeles and beyond.

Furthermore, Robert A. Day was an ardent supporter of his alma mater, Claremont McKenna College (CMC). Over more than five decades, he passionately embraced and promoted CMC’s mission, generously supporting initiatives aimed at nurturing responsible future leaders. Day’s contributions led to the establishment of various esteemed programs and institutions at CMC, including the Robert Day Scholars Program, the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, and the upcoming Robert Day Sciences Center, set to open in 2025.

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Claremont McKenna College (CMC) also shared the grief through facebook,

Robert A. Day ’65 P’12, a visionary philanthropist whose legacy is woven into the fabric of Claremont McKenna College (CMC), passed away on Thursday, September 14, 2023. He was 79.

From the time he matriculated as a student in 1960, and throughout more than five decades as a Trustee, Day embraced and advanced CMC’s mission, generously supporting initiatives designed to help develop future responsible leaders. His name graces some of Claremont McKenna’s most notable programs and institutions, including the Robert Day Scholars Program, the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance, and the future Robert Day Sciences Center.

“As a dear friend, loyal alumnus, global business leader, dedicated Board chair, and visionary donor, Robert’s personal, professional, and philanthropic commitment to Claremont McKenna is extraordinary. The legacy of his impact is incalculable,” said CMC President Hiram Chodosh.

One of the most notable contributions by Day was a historic $200 million donation in 2007 to Claremont McKenna College, establishing the Robert Day Scholars program. This generous gift remains one of the largest known donations to a liberal arts institution, symbolizing Day’s commitment to fostering future leaders equipped with financial acumen and a liberal arts education.

Day was a trailblazer in the asset management industry, founding Trust Company of the West (TCW) and later serving as its CEO. Under his expert leadership, TCW grew significantly and became a prominent asset management firm with assets totaling $248 billion.

His passion for education was profoundly visible through his significant involvement with Claremont McKenna College, where he formed lasting relationships with faculty and students alike. Beyond financial contributions, Day generously shared his time and expertise, bringing high-profile speakers to campus and supporting various educational programs.

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Robert A. Day’s legacy will forever be etched in the annals of education, philanthropy, and business. His dedication and philanthropic vision will continue to inspire future generations of leaders, leaving an enduring impact on communities and institutions.

Robert A. Day is survived by his children, Joe, DiDi, and Jon, as well as his grandchildren Taj, Sosi, Avo, and Ziggy. Our collective thoughts and prayers are with the extended Day family during this time of mourning.

Funeral services to honor the remarkable life of Robert Addison Day were pending at the time of this statement.

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