Over the years, many alumni have devoted themselves to the service of Hamilton, but none more unstintingly than Philip W. Abell. He served the College and his fellow alumni in innumerable ways, from pitching in on fund-raising activities to giving generously of his time and efforts as president of the Alumni Association and chairman of the Alumni Council from 1990 to 1992.
Above all, he was committed to the advancement of the visual arts at Hamilton and ardently supported the Emerson Gallery with funds and gifts of art works, as well as his wise counsel. Although he majored in geology at Hamilton and began his work in that field, and later went on to a career in banking, Phil Abell’s interests also embraced the arts. And in his art collecting, as in his life, he was meticulous and uncompromising in adhering to standards.
His interest in Hamilton extended beyond the institution to the people connected with it, many of whom he came to know personally. In a way, he was a lifelong student of the College, trying to learn more about it by constantly asking questions and proffering helpful advice in his typically low-keyed manner. He also had a generosity of spirit, as exemplified by his insistence that the lecture series in the fine arts he endowed be named not for himself but for a fellow benefactor of the Emerson Gallery.
Phil Abell’s sudden and untimely passing last November left us feeling a great sense of loss. However, the contributions he made on this Hill will pay tribute to his memory with this award.
Citation presented by
President, Alumni Association
June 4, 1994