2020 Volunteer of the Year
Gordon Kaye ’74
The Jeff Little ’71
2022 Volunteer of the Year Award
Citation for Gordon Kaye ’74
You were an anomaly among presidents elected to office: well-loved, adored on both sides of the aisle, and fiercely loyal to your constituents no matter the political cost.
True, we’re talking about serving as president of the Hamilton Alumni Association, the aisle in question is that found here in the Chapel, the issues faced by your administration on College Hill were not nearly as consequential as those debated in Washington on Capitol Hill, and those constituents I just mentioned included your wife, Susan Lewis Kaye, Kirkland Class of 1975, and daughter, Sasha, Hamilton Class of 2005.
Your remarks at association meetings and your annual letters to alumni were informative and enjoyable, peppered with your inimitable wit, deadpan humor, and, of course, your love for our alma mater. All of that was evident in your 2017 letter, when you recounted a conversation you had earlier with members of the senior class about the privileges and responsibilities of being alumni. Then – in your own special way – you urged concessions on the part of your younger constituents.
“Despite the years and decades that divide us,” you recalled telling the seniors, “there is something unique and timeless about the College Hill education and experience that shapes us and that we share, and that this beautiful and dignified campus will always be home.” Nevertheless, you conceded that those seniors were “supremely smarter, more talented, more accomplished, more athletic, more diverse, and more socially engaged than older alumni classes could ever hope to be,” so you urged them “to tone down the smarts a bit — or even fake it — when alumni are on campus. We may be old,” you said, “but we have feelings, too.”
Your tenure as Alumni Association president was marked by a major revision of our organization’s Constitution and Bylaws. I feel obligated to point out this action was not an orchestrated attempt to stay in power, although, as it turns out, you were the only Alumni Association president on record to serve almost two full terms. You have assured us that was only a coincidence.
It is not a coincidence, however, that when one serves as president of the Alumni Association, chair of the Alumni Council, and in just about every other volunteer role for the College, that person earns our admiration, gratitude and, today, our selection as the Jeff Little Volunteer of the Year.
Presented by Josie Collier ’97, P’14
President, Alumni Association
June 11, 2022