The genesis of a gift to Hamilton can be quite simple – a donor wishes to benefit the College. However, in the case of the Alfanges, a single gift led to a full circle of giving and support for Hamilton. In 1937, Dean Alfange, Class of 1922, received the inaugural Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Award for his book The Supreme Court and the National Will. With great generosity and foresight, he contributed his $2,500 prize to the College to endow the Dean Alfange Essay Prizes, awarded each year to two students who write the best essays on the development of American constitutional government.
As a student, Milton Kayle ’43 was a recipient of the Dean Alfange Essay Prize, a point he made when he accepted the Bell Ringer Award in the Chapel on June 3, 2006. The prize he received left a lasting impression and inspired his life-long philanthropy and service to Hamilton. This past year at Class & Charter Day, Matthew Coleman ’06 and Ian Mandel ’06, donors to the Senior Gift Campaign, were awarded Alfange prizes.
However the story doesn’t end there. In the fall of 2005, Dean Alfange, Jr. ’50 and his wife Barbara used assets inherited from his father to complete a charitable gift annuity with Hamilton. This gift ultimately will establish The Dean Alfange, Class of 1922, Distinguished Visiting Professorship in a field related to the history, philosophy or culture of Ancient Greece. The purpose of the visiting professorship will be to attract to Hamilton scholars in this area, which was one of Dean Alfange’s abiding interests, and is to be awarded on a competitive basis to the academic department that makes the strongest case for its use.
Beginning with Joel Bristol, the history of Hamilton reveals many circles of giving that have helped to sustain and support the College and the Hamilton-Oneida Academy for more than two hundred years.