Frank M. Speakman

Biography

Deceased August 2, 1956

Born on a farm in 1882, Frank M. Speakman attended public schools in Chester County, Penn., before attending the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1908 with a business degree. He became a well-respected actuary and public accountant, and taught insurance and business economics at Temple University from 1913-16. As an actuary, Mr. Speakman consulted for the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. He was also the actuary for the National Convention of Insurance Commissioners.

Outside of his business as an actuary and accountant for over 40 years, Mr. Speakman had an honest, progressive reputation. In 1936, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Eastern State Penitentiary by Governor George Earle, and the following year the Board elected him president. When Mr. Speakman passed, he left the majority of his estate to the two universities that had made the biggest impact on his life—Temple and his alma mater, Penn. His total estate value in 1956 was $3,757,000. Of that, Mr. Speakman’s family, friends, employees and two Baptist churches received $200,000. Temple’s share was $1,778,500. Speakman Hall was dedicated in 1967 as the new home of the School of Business Administration, predecessor to the Fox School of Business. At the time, the $3.3 million dollar, four-story facility featured many “modern” amenities, including a computer center and air conditioning. A promotional brochure about the building was entitled: The Design For Tomorrow: A New Building For Business. Mr. Speakman’s gift made the new building possible, along with many private fund contributions.