Terrance Keenan, an early leader and visionary at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, passed away February 25, 2009, at the age of 85. Keenan joined the Foundation as one of its first employees, and for more than 30 years he set the standard for creativity, caring and vision.
"What made Terry so special is that he never lost sight of the people we are trying to help," said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. "His insistence on keeping people at the center of grantmaking is what made him unique. His approach to philanthropy—that the core of foundations’ work is helping improve the health and health care of people in need—is what, in the end, has made Terry such a beloved and influential figure in our field."
The extraordinary programs and organizations Keenan forged many years ago, such as the Local Initiative Funding Partners, the Nurse Family Partnership and Grantmakers in Health, are among the most enduring of the Foundation’s contributions to serving those in need and to transforming lives for the better.
Former RWJF President Steven Schroeder called Keenan “a living embodiment of the best aspects of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”
"I couldn’t agree more," Lavizzo-Mourey said. "Terry’s legacy is in the countless lives he has made better, and the impact he has had on the Foundation and the entire field. Some of Terry’s own words and thoughts on what makes a foundation great reflect the impact he had on our Foundation and on the entire field of philanthropy."
Keenan believed that several tenets make a foundation rise above the rest.He said that:
"We are comforted in knowing that while Terry will be deeply missed, his legacy at RWJF and throughout philanthropy is enduring," said Lavizzo-Mourey.