Remembering Trustee Henri Termeer

May 15, 2017

The Museum of Science community has lost a great friend and a true visionary. Henri Termeer, former chairman, president, and CEO of Genzyme, passed away on May 12, 2017 at his home in Marblehead. He was 71. Henri was truly one of the most inspirational board members in Museum history and a driving force behind the Hall of Human Life, where his legacy will continue. 

 Henri shared our belief that children are natural scientists. He tirelessly shared his time and expertise to tap into this innate curiosity to foster lifelong interest in science and innovation. In an essay that he wrote for the Museum of Science Magazine in the spring of 2010, he said, “Investing in the next generation of scientists is imperative. These young minds will make advances that will positively impact human life.”

 Henri also expanded the Museum’s role within the biotechnology community. As the industry’s preeminent leader, he believed the Museum played an important role in helping the public understand the massive changes made possible by this fledgling industry. 

A Museum trustee since 1992, Henri served on numerous boards in the region and was the recipient of many awards and honors for his service and philanthropy to the arts, education, and healthcare, including the Golden Door award in 1999 from the International Institute of New England, which recognizes the positive influence that immigrants have had on America; the Cor Vitae Award from the American Heart Association in 2003, and the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 2011 he accepted a Star of STEM Award from the Museum, to honor the role that he and Genzyme had played “to promote and support science education locally and globally.”

Henri was born in the Netherlands in 1946, where his father and grandfather ran a successful shoe business. He studied economics at the University of Rotterdam and came to the United States to get an MBA at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He joined Genzyme in 1983, just two years after its founding, and served as its chairman, president and CEO until 2011. Henri is survived by his wife Belinda and his children, Nicholas and Adriana.

 Details regarding a memorial service are not yet available.

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