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ASU mourns the loss of Wayne S. Doran, alumnus and philanthropist

Generosity from donor and his wife enabled 1st-generation students to attend college, gain personal and professional development skills

black and white archived photo of Wayne Doran

Wayne S. Doran, ASU alumnus and philanthropist.

February 14, 2022

Wayne S. Doran arrived at Arizona State University in August 1952, the first person in his family to attend college.

After graduating from ASU, Doran began a career in land development, becoming chief executive of Ford Land when it formed in 1970. Doran devoted three decades to the automaker, serving as vice president of Ford Motor Company until he retired in January 2001.

Doran died on Feb. 10 at the age of 87, but his legacy lives on at ASU.

Following a successful career, Doran was committed to the advancement of education and helping students achieve their dreams of higher education. His philanthropic spirit focused on ASU, where he gained the knowledge necessary to succeed.

“Wayne Doran’s life speaks to the power of the ‘American Dream’ and the transformative power of education,” ASU President Michael M. Crow said. “His personal experiences as a first-generation college student, Fortune 500 executive and community leader fueled his family’s education advocacy and decades of generosity in support of his alma mater and the Doran Community Scholars. Wayne’s friendship, compassion and steadfast dedication to supporting student success will be greatly missed.”

Doran focused on transforming the lives of students at his alma mater through the Doran Community Scholars Program that he and his wife, Maureen, established with a $1 million gift in 1997 to support first-generation students like himself who graduated from the Phoenix Union High School District. The program has provided scholarships to more than 200 ASU students.  

Funds are awarded to students with the most need to provide access to education in alignment with ASU’s mission. It provides students not only financial support, but also extensive personal and professional development. A vital part of the program is cultivating in each student a social conscience and a desire to serve their communities.

“Without Wayne’s generosity, there are countless students who would not have received a college education,” ASU Foundation CEO Gretchen Buhlig said. “His philanthropic efforts single-handedly opened doors for students who only dreamed of higher ed.”  

Doran served as an ASU trustee and an ASU Foundation board chairman. He was inducted into the W. P. Carey Alumni Hall of Fame, was a lifetime member of the ASU Alumni Association and was named an Outstanding Alumnus in 1978. He and his wife were also members of the ASU Foundation’s Leadership Society.