Thomas C. Succop ’58
There’s no better time than spring to recognize the fruits of your labor — not to mention the trees, shrubs, and flowers. They can be seen from every window and every path on campus. How many prospective students, on their first visit to Hamilton, have paused to take in the lush natural beauty of their surroundings? And how many returning alumni have done the same? Your vision and guidance have enabled Hamilton to reach its highest aspirations for this beautiful College on the Hill.
In 1974, as disease and age plagued the elms and maples, you stepped up, equipped with a master’s degree in landscape architecture. The elms couldn’t be saved, but that involvement began your tenure as a trusted advisor to your alma mater. Throughout the next three decades, you expanded and diversified campus flora, introducing hardy evergreens, flowering ornamental species, and new varieties of shade trees. You visually united the Kirkland and Hamilton landscapes, and you recommended that cars and parking lots be moved from the center of campus.
The culmination of your aesthetic vision came in 2004 with the designation of the Hamilton College Arboretum. Its creation, you said, signified how the College values the environment, environmental education, and sustainability. To encourage establishment of the arboretum, in 2001 you and JoAnn created a fund to support its planning, design, and maintenance. Inspired by your leadership, your class’ 60th Reunion Committee provided the seed money to expand the arboretum fund to more broadly support green spaces on campus. It is fitting that Hamilton’s Science Grove is named in your honor.
Above and beyond your devotion to Hamilton’s greenery, you cultivated the wellbeing of the College as a member of the Alumni Council, an Annual Fund volunteer, and a volunteer for the 175th Anniversary Campaign.
A few years ago you wrote that you have an unending appreciation for Hamilton because of the impact it had on your life and values. With our own unending appreciation, we present you today with the 2019 Bell Ringer Award.
Citation presented by
Paddy McGuire ’81
President, Alumni Association
June 8, 2019