Donald M. Zuckert ’56 H’06, former chairman of the Board of Trustees and one of Madison Avenue’s original “Mad Men,” died of a heart attack on October 13, 2013.
His commitment to Bowdoin was unwavering. He assumed important roles in the Campaign for Bowdoin in the 1980s and served as chair of the New Century Campaign from 1996 to 1998. He was elected an overseer of the College in 1987 and a trustee of the College in 1995. He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2005 and was elected trustee emeritus in 2005. A year later, in recognition of his loyalty and service to the College, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters at Commencement. He also established the Donald M. Zuckert Visiting Professorship and the Zuckert Career Services Technology Fund. After insisting there be space in the museum where students could learn, he was honored with the dedication of the Zuckert Seminar Room in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. He was born on April 3, 1934, in New York City and prepared for college at the King School in Stamford, Conn. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at Bowdoin and went on to graduate from New York University Law School in 1959. He served to captain in the Army and then ten years in the Army Reserves. He began his career in advertising in 1960 at Ted Bates & Co. in New York, which was acquired by Saatchi & Saatchi in 1986. Throughout his tenure at Bates, he ran many of the agency’s prestigious accounts, including Anheuser-Busch, Hertz, Mars, Marx Toys, Panasonic, and Pfizer. He was also responsible for acquiring numerous agencies around the globe long before that was in fashion. He ultimately assumed the position of chairman and CEO of Ted Bates Worldwide before leaving the firm following its merger with Backer & Spielvogel in 1988. In ensuing years, he started a niche marketing firm called Arcature with former Ted Bates colleagues and acquired C&W, a frozen vegetable firm in California, in 1991. In 1995, he was named vice chairman of DraftDirect, an agency that was later acquired by Interpublic Group. He had a passion for collecting—sports memorabilia, fine wine, 20th century paintings, and American folk art, including a prized collection of American weather vanes. He is survived by his wife of nearly fifty-six years, Susan Liefter Zuckert; sons Andrew and Timothy J. Zuckert ’86; five grandchildren; and brother Owen M. Zuckert ’54.