Remembering Gov. Pete du Pont, A Man Who Made a Difference

April 29th, 2022

Category: News

Today, April 29, 2022, a memorial will commemorate the passing of Governor Pete du Pont and on behalf of our board and team at Rodel, I wanted to join the chorus of those sharing a few words of appreciation for a life well-lived. I only knew him in the latter part of his life, when he was the co-chair of Rodel’s Advisory Council with Sen. Tom Carper. We served together on the Delaware Public Policy Institute board. I knew him as a clear, provocative thinker, who could deliver a point with humor and clarity. He pushed my thinking with good questions and counsel in both roles.

Our founder, Bill Budinger, always made a point of meeting with Gov. du Pont when he came into town. They would catch up on family and talk through the political landscape locally and nationally. They even enjoyed competing with each other at ski tournaments. Bill very much valued his perspective as a leader who could find common ground on big ideas that made a difference.

Governor du Pont lived a fascinating life and his decisions on economic policy and public education left Delaware a far better place to live for generations to come. I found this post by Ken Smith, his former chief education advisor, about the origins of Jobs for Delaware Graduates, a particularly compelling read in terms of his commitment to Delaware’s young people in a time of crisis when others might have made a less bold choice.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends today and we thank him for his service to this state and nation.

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Paul Herdman



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