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In Memoriam: Terrence “Terry” E. Deal

Terrence Deal

Terrence “Terry” E. Deal, renowned leadership expert, celebrated author, and beloved alumnus known for living every lesson he taught passed June 4, leaving behind a legacy of inspiration, vision and authenticity. He was 84.

Deal was the real deal, living out the lessons, lectures, consulting advice, and researchhe shared with aspiring and longtime leaders, students and colleagues.Leading with empathy, the power of culture and influence through soul and spirit were some of the areas the longtime educator was known to role model through daily conversations and actions.

“He was the Dude,” said Lucero Rojo, a former student now assistant vice president of alumni engagement who became Deal’s friend and mentee. “I picked his brain for everything. He was very accessible and gracious with his time.”

Rojo said their talks led to deep reflections on personal journeys, vulnerability in leadership and empowering teams. She had hoped to map out her dissertation with him this summer.

Deal was one of more than 60 members of the Deal/Redman family to attend the University of La Verne. He was a star player on the football team and graduated with his bachelor’s degree in history in 1961 but has remained deeply connected. He was an avid supporter of the Leopard football family and friend of the university. Wearing his signature Hawaiian shirt and shorts, Deal would support campus community events, classes and gatherings. Many describe him as a generous, charismatic, and inspiring individual who lived a remarkable life and made enduring contributions to education and leadership.

“He was a dear friend and a brilliant communicator, who has transformed the lives of individuals and whole communities,” expressed Dr. Stuart Gothold, Clinical Professor Emeritus from the USC Rossier School of Education and member of the Terrence E. Deal Leadership Institute.

He earned his master’s degree from California State University at Los Angeles in educational administration and doctoral degree in education and sociology from Stanford University.

He taught organization and leadership courses at Stanford, Harvard, Vanderbilt, and the University of Southern California. He retired as the Irving R. Melbo Clinical Professor of USC‘s Rossier School of Education. He has consulted schools, banks, religious orders, military, global organizations, and well-known companies such as IBM, Hyatt Hotel, Target, Swiss Army, Kaiser Permanente.

Deal wrote forty books and more than one hundred articles and book chapters onorganizations, leadership, and change. He is the coauthor of sixteen books, including the best-sellingCorporate Cultureswith A.A. Kennedy,Managing the Hidden Organizationwith W.A. Jenkins, andReframing Organizationswith Lee Bolman.

In 2013, he founded the Terrence E. Deal Leadership Institutewith the purpose to explore leadership as it relates to a variety of approaches and professional fields. Using salon gatherings, guests shared knowledge and fellowship around leadership in all facets of life.

He is survived by his wife Sandra Deal, daughter Jane Deal, sister Patsy Deal Kennedy, brother Johnny Deal, and many cousins who loved him dearly.