Death of Professor Heidi G. Frontani

A campus Gathering of Friends to mourn the loss of a beloved Elon scholar and mentor takes place Monday, Feb. 29, at 4 p.m. in the Sacred Space of the Numen Lumen Pavilion.

The following message was emailed today to the Elon University community from President Leo M. Lambert:

Dear students, faculty and staff,

I am heartbroken to report that Dr. Heidi G. Frontani, professor of geography and beloved member of the Elon faculty for more than 17 years, died February 26 following a sudden illness. We are shocked by this unexpected loss of a member of our community and want to reach out to support her husband, Dr. Michael Frontani, an associate professor in the School of Communications, and their family and loved ones.

 A Gathering of Friends in memory of Dr. Frontani will be held on Monday, Feb. 29, at 4 p.m. in the Sacred Space of the Numen Lumen Pavilion. The Sacred Space is open until 5 p.m. today and Elon’s Chaplains are available there if people want to be together in the news of her passing.

 Dr. Frontani had been a prolific scholar and student mentor since joining the Elon faculty in 1998. She was a strong advocate for the people of Africa, and served as faculty mentor to the Periclean Scholars Class of 2010 when students focused their studies on Ghana. At the time of her death, she was serving as a Senior Faculty Research Fellow, working on a book on charitable foundations and the birth of medical philanthropy in Africa.

Dr. Frontani was a distinguished and fully involved member of the Elon faculty and held many leadership roles over the years, most recently as co-chair of the implementation and assessment team for the Presidential Task Force on the Black Student, Faculty, and Staff Experiences at Elon. She served as coordinator of the geography program from 1998 to 2011, chair of the Department of History & Geography from 2009 to 2012, and as interim coordinator of the African & African-American Studies program from 2014 to 2015. She also served at various times as faculty advisor for the “Visions” environmental magazine and for the Gamma Theta Upsilon geography honor society.

Heidi’s death is devastating to our community. It leaves us with a profound sense of grief and reminds us that the life of each person here is precious. We are a stronger university because of Heidi. The students she taught and mentored, and the values they carry into this world, are perhaps her greatest legacy.

Those who knew Heidi may benefit from speaking with a staff member or counselor about this loss. Elon’s counseling staff and the chaplain’s staff are available as we begin the grieving process. Anyone who would like to talk about their feelings of loss or concern for others may contact Counseling Services at 278-7280 or the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life at 278-7729. Counselors are available after hours on call by contacting Campus Safety and Police at 278-5555. The Student Life administrator-on-call may also be reached at 278-5555 at any time.

Please join me in sending prayers of thanks for the contributions Dr. Frontani made to the Elon community and to ask for healing grace for those who loved her and are deeply saddened by her loss. Messages of condolences to Heidi’s family and loved ones may be sent to their home, 207 Random Lane, Burlington, N.C. 27215.

In deepest sorrow,
Leo M. Lambert