Gerald J. Holtz ’52, who served on the Board of Trustees for 16 years from 1984 to 2001, died Jan. 3, 2009, at 77 in West Falmouth, Mass. He is remembered as a great supporter and friend of Colby. President William D. Adams, recalling Holtz’s diligence as chair of the trustees’ Budget and Finance Committee, said, “He had a gentle but firm way of keeping us on track. Much of Colby’s admirable financial strength and stability is owing to Jerry’s influence and leadership.”
A chemistry major at Colby, Holtz attended Bentley College and had the highest score in Massachusetts on the Certified Public Accountant exam in 1953. He served in the U.S. Navy and earned an M.B.A. at Harvard. He worked for Arthur Andersen for 35 years, eventually heading the firm’s tax quality control program. After retiring in 1992, he taught accounting at the Boston College management and law schools until 2001.
Lawrence Pugh ’56, former chair of Colby’s board, said Holtz was a devoted alumnus and trustee. “I think one of the reasons the school is in such good financial shape today is because of people like Jerry and because of the sound, conservative fiscal advice he gave.”
At Colby Holtz served as vice chair of the board and received a Colby Brick Award in 1992 and the Marriner Distinguished Service Award in 1995.
“He was so wise and experienced, and so gentle in his suggestions,” President Emeritus William R. Cotter said in a note to Holtz’s widow, Jane, adding that Holtz was “universally liked, respected, and admired at Colby.”
Holtz also served on boards at Temple Israel in Boston (where he was president), Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Salt Pond Area Bird Sanctuaries, and Penikese Island School.