In the entire annals of the College, no alumnus was more devoted than Clancy D. Connell, who served his alma mater in countless ways, large and small, over a period of more than 70 years. Long before the end of his 95 years of life, he had truly earned the title of “Mr. Hamilton.”
Orphaned at the age of five, Clancy Connell was brought up by his grandmother in New York’s North Country. Thanks to a high school teacher, Leon Jenks ’05, to whom the College owes a profound debt of gratitude, young Clancy was steered in Hamilton’s direction. The income from a $2,000 life insurance policy left by his father, supplemented by his own labors, enabled him to complete his education on College Hill.
Clancy Connell began his working career as assistant secretary of the Bowery branch of New York City’s Y.M.C.A. In 1920 he entered the insurance field as an agent for Provident Mutual and quickly became one of its most successful salesmen. Named general agent in 1927, he held that position until his retirement in 1950. Highly respected by his peers, he was chosen as president of the Association of Life Underwriters of both New York City and New York State, as well as of the National Association. A long-time resident of Westfield, NJ, he faithfully served his community as a member of the town council, the board of education, and as trustee of the local Y.M.C.A.
He will be best remembered, however, for his services to Hamilton, to which he wholeheartedly committed his abundant energies. The offices he held are almost beyond enumeration, but do include the presidency of the Metropolitan New York Alumni Association and the chairmanship of the Alumni Council following reconstitution of the Society of Alumni in 1940. He was also for 16 years a trustee of the College and for 10 years vice chairman of its board. An indefatigable fund raiser, he helped reorganize and revitalize the annual Alumni Fund.
But it was in recruitment of students for Hamilton that Clancy Connell took most delight, and therein he set an example for others to emulate. It was always his conviction that Hamilton must maintain an open door for those with much in their heads but little in their pockets, and through his efforts as a fund raiser, he helped immeasurably to keep those doors ajar. His wise counsel and guidance in all manner of college affairs was also frequently sought and generously given, and Hamilton has derived lasting benefits therefrom.
The Carissima of old reminds us of loyal and steadfast men. None was more loyal and steadfast than Clancy D. Connell. We gratefully salute his memory this day.
Citation presented by
Alumni Council Chairman
June 8, 1985