Hamilton To Memorialize Famous Alumnus
A formal dedication ceremony for Woollcott House will take place during the college's Reunion Weekend, June 2-4.
"This tribute is both fitting and long overdue for a man who became one of this country's most eminent literary and cultural figures," said Hamilton President Eugene M. Tobin. "Alexander Woollcott was one of Hamilton's most loyal and celebrated alumni and one of Theta Delta Chi's most distinguished graduates."
Woollcott's ties to his alma mater and his fraternity are closely intertwined. In the summer of 1921, as Broadway's preeminent drama critic, Woollcott was on his way to becoming one of the nation's best known and most colorful personalities when he took time out to return to what he called "the sacred grove," the Hamilton College campus. That summer, on behalf of his fraternity, he persuaded former Hamilton President Melancthon Woolsey Stryker to sell a piece of land on Campus Road, which, in 1925, became the site of the TDX house. In subsequent years, Woollcott was to have an enormous impact on American popular culture as a theatre critic, a best-selling author, and one of the first radio personalities. He also served Hamilton as a trustee from 1935 until his death in 1943.
Woollcott's friend and fellow member of the famed Algonquin Round Table, Dorothy Parker, predicted that when he died, he would go to the place he preferred, not Heaven but Hamilton. His ashes are interred in what he had called "the last dormitory," the Hamilton College Cemetery, a site not far from the TDX house, which he had helped build and to which he gave the books for its library.
The former Theta Delta Chi House has been called 3950 Campus Road since it was renovated as a college residence hall in 1995.