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2000 Bell Ringer Award

A native of nearby Utica, F. Palmer Cutter entered Hamilton from Utica Free Academy  75 years ago. During his four years on the Hill, he took an active role in student ­government, acted with the Charlatans, and lettered in hockey and track. Captain of the track team in his senior year, he excelled in the hurdles but also accumulated points for the Buff and Blue in the high and broad jumps. Elected to Pentagon and as class vice president, he was graduated in 1929.

For almost 70 years thereafter, Palm Cutter served Hamilton and his class loyally, enthusiastically, and with constancy and vigor. He always managed to find time away  from his retail fuel business to help out in a host of ways. During World War II he chaired the committee that saw Hamilton’s fraternities through difficult times, and in the decades thereafter, he was a tireless volunteer for the Annual Fund, leading his class to 100%  participation for 11 years in a row.

A onetime vice president of the Society of Alumni, an active member of the Alumni Council, and a trustee and alumni treasurer of his Alpha Delta Phi fraternity chapter, Palm Cutter played a pivotal role in keeping the Class of 1929 connected with and devoted to the College. Only in 1998, at the age of 91, did he relinquish, because of  illness and advanced years, what he called the “pleasant occupation” of strengthening and sustaining ’29’s loyalty to Hamilton. By then, of course, few of his classmates remained.

In his last letter to one of them, he concluded by observing that, “Since September 1925, we have tried our best on behalf of the College we all loved.”

F. Palmer Cutter, who died two months ago, certainly tried his best, and it is fitting that today we remember with gratitude his meritorious service and outstanding contributions through all those years.

Citation presented by
Alumni Association President
June 3, 2000


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