Digger Graves - Last Lecture

Digger Graves' last lecture, rediscovered

Edgar "Digger" Graves, one of the College's most beloved professors and renowned scholars, began teaching on the Hill in 1927 and offered his final lecture on May 21, 1969 – an address that for decades was thought to survive only in the fond recollections of those in attendance that day at old Truax Hall. Not long ago, however, his daughter, Barbara Graves Starnes, found a reel-to-reel tape of the lecture and had it transferred to CD. Bob Abrams '53 worked with the recording to improve the sound quality and, Starnes says, "to bring it back to life."

Ranging over topics that included the transformation of Hamilton in his 42 years on the history faculty, his own undergraduate days at Haverford, student activism in the late '60s and the importance of the study of history, Digger's last lecture was animated by what he called the "great elixir and alembic" – whimsical humor – and punctuated by applause and uproarious laughter. Here is the full lecture.

Digger Graves last lecture: May 21, 1969

Contact Information

Stacey Himmelberger

Editor, Hamilton Alumni Review
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
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