J. TERRENCE (“TERRY”) LANNI
J. Terrence (“Terry”) Lanni, a member of the SCU Board of Trustees, passed away at age 68 on July 14. He was a loving husband to his wife Debbie, and father to two sons, Sean ’06 and Patrick. Outside of his family, Lanni’s greatest passions were for education, politics, and horses. When he retired in 2008, he was chairman and chief executive of MGM Mirage, a company he had built into the second-largest casino company in the world.
The Southern California native studied at the University of Southern California and began a career in business as treasurer of Republic Corporation. He served on the reelection campaign for President Gerald Ford before being asked to join as a senior executive of Caesars World, Inc. Lanni acknowledged in an interview years later that he was reluctant to join the gambling industry at first, but in various senior capacities he proved instrumental in helping the industry gain greater credibility on Wall Street. In 1995 he was recruited to MGM Grand as president and CEO. As chairman, he oversaw that company’s acquisition of Mirage and Mandalay resorts.
Lanni joined the SCU Board in 2006 and, in a quiet and unassuming way, provided valuable counsel and support. “As a Santa Clara parent, he got deeply involved in the life of the University,” said President Michael Engh, S.J. “And his special concern was students in need.”
A Funeral Mass was held for Lanni at Holy Family Church in Pasadena, Calif., on July 22, with Sen. John McCain delivering one of the eulogies and paying heartfelt tribute to Lanni as a loyal and trusted friend, through good times and bad.
In addition to the Board of SCU, Lanni was a member of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and served on the boards of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and USC’s Keck School of Medicine and Marshall School of Business, among others. SBS