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Life Trustee Keith Wellin ’50, GP ’11, ’14 Dies at 88


Wendy and Keith Wellin
Wendy and Keith Wellin

Hamilton College President Joan Hinde Stewart announced the death of Life Trustee Keith Wellin ’50, GP’11, ’14 in an email to the Hamilton community on Sept. 14.

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I am writing with the sad news that life trustee Keith Wellin ’50, GP ’11, ’14 died this morning in Charleston following a lengthy illness. He was 88.

Keith was a leading and long-time patron of the arts in his community and especially at Hamilton. His affection for the arts was inspired, he said, by his parents, especially his father, who was an amateur painter. Keith and his wife Wendy were on campus in 2012 to dedicate the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art in honor of Keith’s parents. In the two years since the museum opened, its impact at Hamilton and in the community has given Keith and Wendy much pleasure and satisfaction.

Those who had the privilege of knowing Keith remember a kind and gentle man who loved his family and his alma mater. He served Hamilton quietly but enthusiastically, with distinction and determination, for more than four decades, notably on the Board of Trustees, including as chairman of the Investment Committee from 1988 to 1992. Like his father, he collected art, which he generously shared with the College when the Emerson Gallery hosted the Hamilton Collects American Art exhibition in 2002.

Those who did not know Keith personally still benefit from his legacy on the Hamilton campus. He supported projects, honored people and responded generously whenever the College had a compelling need. Future generations of Hamilton students will benefit from his support of Wellin Hall in the Schambach Center, the Wellin Atrium in the Taylor Science Center and the Wellin Performance Courts in the Little Squash Center, and from gifts he made to honor Elizabeth McCormack (student scholarships), Eugene Tobin (endowed professorship) and Joseph Anderson ’44 (student internships). The gift he and Wendy gave for new arts facilities helped transform arts education at Hamilton.

Keith came to College Hill in 1947 after serving two years in the Army. He earned his Hamilton degree in English literature and an MBA from Harvard before embarking on a career on Wall Street. In 1999, Hamilton honored him with an honorary doctor of laws.

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