Frank Newman

Education Reformer

Frank Newman, 77, a former president of the Education Commission of the States and a reformer of higher education, died May 29 at a hospital in Providence, R.I., of melanoma. He lived in Jamestown, R.I.

In 1969, as public relations director for Stanford University, Mr. Newman was asked by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to lead a national task force on the reform of higher education. The Newman Report, as it was known, proposed changes that would better accommodate the part-time, minority and other unconventional students Mr. Newman watched out for through his academic career.

From 1974 to 1983, Mr. Newman was president of the University of Rhode Island, where he was able to put his ideas into practice. He worked to attract older and returning students, added human services courses and began referring to the globalization of higher education.

In 1976, he helped launch the University of Phoenix, a private school that offers flexible programs for the education of adults. He was named president of the Education Commission of the States in 1985 and held the position until 1999.

Francis Brunn


Francis Brunn, 81, the renowned juggler, gymnast and showman who mesmerized circus audiences for more than 50 years, died May 28 at a hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, after heart surgery.

Mr. Brunn was born near Frankfurt. He performed his act with his sister, Lotte, from 1939 to 1948 in Europe, when he was invited to join Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus in the United States. Though he could already dazzle audiences by juggling up to 10 rings, he changed his act in the late 1950s after watching the carefully controlled moves of a flamenco dancer.

"I can understand why a man wants to run the fastest 100 meters," he once said, "but I don't believe in juggling competitions. It's like seeing who could paint the fastest painting."