Daniel S. Follmer, deputy dean and director of College Admissions at the University of Chicago, died of cancer on Nov. 4 at the age of 34.
Follmer joined the University in 2008 and was highly regarded by colleagues, students and families alike. Those close to him said his work reflected a passion for increasing access to higher education for students from underrepresented communities, enthusiasm for the liberal arts and enduring curiosity.
“He will be remembered for his kindness, his integrity and his great respect for the humanity in every person,” said Follmer’s brother, Max Follmer.
Follmer was responsible for daily operations in College Admissions, and played a key role in designing and implementing strategy. That approach included a more personalized outreach to prospective students, expanded scholarship opportunities for low-income families and a comprehensive professional development program for admissions counselors.
In addition, through his personal admissions recruiting efforts in the Manhattan borough of New York City, Follmer built relationships with thousands of students, families, teachers and college counselors. His work contributed to the College’s dramatic increase in applications and the number of students who view UChicago as their first choice.
“Daniel was especially passionate about helping his staff establish long and successful careers in admissions and higher education,” said James G. Nondorf, vice president of Enrollment and Student Advancement and dean of College Admissions and Financial Aid. “He served as a friend and mentor to several cohorts of College Admissions counselors at UChicago. He leaves a formidable legacy, and we will miss him greatly.”
A lifelong resident of Hyde Park, Follmer was one of many family members with deep connections to UChicago. Survivors include his wife, Jessica Rhoades; his parents, Anita Samen and David Follmer, AM’66; brother, Max Follmer; and sister, Sarah Follmer, AB’05.
A memorial service will be held on campus in Daniel Follmer’s honor at 11 a.m. Nov. 8 in Rockefeller Memorial Chapel.