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Robert Froehlke (right) and Melvin Laird

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Melvin R. Laird Center at Marshfield Clinic

About Robert Froehlke

Robert Froehlke was born in Neenah, Wisconsin and raised in Marshfield. Melvin R. Laird, Robert Froehlke and Mr. Froehlke's wife Nancy were grade and high school friends in Marshfield. The Froehlkes married while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Melvin Laird and the Froehlkes have enjoyed a friendship for more than 70 years.

Mr. Froehlke was president of Sentry Insurance in Stevens Point, Wisconsin when Secretary of Defense, Melvin R. Laird asked him to volunteer for an Assistant Defense Secretary's position at the Pentagon. In 1971, Froehlke, a former U.S. Army captain in the infantry in World War II, was named Secretary of the Army. He also served as Chairman of the Board for the Institute of Defense Analysis in Washington, D. C.

Bob Froehlke managed all of Mr. Laird's campaigns for congress.

Mr. Froehlke chaired The Equitable in New York and served as president and CEO of IDS Mutual Fund Group in Minneapolis. He also volunteered in both cities during that time for leadership roles in community, education and church activities, demonstrating his commitment to community.

Closer to home, Robert Froehlke was one of the first people to serve on Marshfield Clinic's National Advisory Council when it was established in 1982. He was elected chair in 1993.

A successful fundraiser, Robert Froehlke raised $472 million for the University of Wisconsin Foundation. He teamed with Barbara Bush to raise $15 million to help the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. Froehlke also helped raise $13 million for the Laird Center for Medical Research, located on the campus of Marshfield Clinic.

Because of his contributions and steadfast support, Marshfield Clinic has named their conference center in the Melvin R. Laird Center the Robert Froehlke Conference Center.

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