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In Memoriam


2021

Robert Moses ’56, July 25, 2021

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

Robert Parris Moses ’56, an icon in the civil rights movement and one of Hamilton’s most distinguished alumni, died yesterday in Florida at the age of 86.

Bob Moses was the Mississippi field director for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the founder of the 1964 Freedom Summer Project, which sought to register as many Black voters in Mississippi as possible. Soft-spoken and determined, he endured threats, shootings, beatings, and arrest. In 1982, after being named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, he created The Algebra Project, which views mathematical literacy as a modern civil rights tool. Earlier this year, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Former President Barack Obama called Bob Moses “a hero of mine” and in his memoir A Promised Land, Obama included Moses as one of the “young leaders of the civil rights movement” who inspired him. He said Moses’ “quiet confidence helped shape the civil rights movement, and he inspired generations of young people looking to make a difference.”

Bob Moses returned to campus regularly and was awarded a Hamilton honorary degree in 1991. When he met with students in Professor Sally Cockburn’s “Mathematics in Social Context” class in 2019, he said, “The fundamental issue of citizenship and ‘what does it mean to be a citizen of the nation as opposed to just being a citizen of the state?’ was at the heart of the civil rights movement then, and it’s at the heart of the movement now.”

Bob Moses was committed, courageous, and principled. He represented the highest ideals of a Hamilton education. You can learn more about Bob Moses by reading the tributes that are being published about his life and impact on American society.

New York Times
The Washington Post
Associated Press

2020

Elizabeth McCormack, December 4, 2020

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

With great sadness and a heavy heart, I write to inform you that Life Trustee Elizabeth McCormack died this morning. She lived 98 full and influential years and was most recently on campus in March for the quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Elizabeth was a role model for so many of us in higher education. It was a privilege to know her and benefit from her expert counsel. She was one of the most admired, most influential, and most respected leaders in higher education, and Hamilton is especially fortunate that she chose to serve as a trustee on College Hill, first for Kirkland College beginning in 1975, and since 1978 for Hamilton. For 45 years, her intelligent and generous spirit helped shape the institution we are.

On the 40th anniversary of Elizabeth’s service to Kirkland and Hamilton, former Hamilton President Joan Stewart announced a new award, named it for Elizabeth, and fittingly designated her its first recipient. The Elizabeth J. McCormack Presidential Counselor Award is given at the discretion of the president to “an adviser of uncommon generosity, wisdom, and influence.” Not surprisingly, Hamilton’s rise in stature has coincided with Elizabeth’s association with the College. It is hard to imagine Hamilton without her.

Elizabeth graduated in 1944 from Manhattanville College, received a master’s degree from Providence College, and was awarded a Ph.D. from Fordham University. She joined the Society of the Sacred Heart and in 1966 was named president of Manhattanville, which was transformed during her tenure from a traditional Catholic women’s college to a nonsectarian coeducational institution. As president of her alma mater, she once said “a college committed to inquiry and social concerns cannot be static, finished, closed.” Wise advice then and now.

Trustees celebrated Elizabeth McCormack’s 98th birthday during the board meeting in March.

In addition to serving as head of the Rockefeller Family Philanthropic Office, for which she advised the Rockefellers on their charitable responsibilities, Elizabeth was associated with countless other educational, cultural, philanthropic, and humanitarian organizations. They prominently included the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Asian Cultural Council; the American Academy in Rome; the Trust for Mutual Understanding; the Council on Foreign Relations; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Spelman, Swarthmore, and Marlboro colleges; and the Julliard School. In addition to Hamilton and Manhattanville, she received honorary degrees from Princeton, Brandeis, Julliard, the American University in Paris, and the City University of New York, among others. In 2012, No Ordinary Life: The Biography of Elizabeth J. McCormack, was published on the occasion of her 90th birthday. The title of that book captured Elizabeth’s essence.

Higher education and Hamilton have lost one of their most influential and beloved leaders.

David

Drew Days ’63, November 16, 2020

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I am writing with the sad news that Life Trustee Drew Days ’63 died Sunday at the age of 79. Drew was one of Hamilton’s most accomplished public servants. He was a prominent civil rights attorney who became U.S. solicitor general in the Clinton Administration and is one of the alumni for whom the Days-Massolo Center is named.

Drew graduated from Hamilton in 1963 with a major in English literature. He earned his law degree from Yale and was admitted to the bar in 1966. After working briefly at a union-side labor law firm in Chicago, he joined the Peace Corps and served for two years in Honduras with his wife, Ann Langdon. They were married for nearly 54 years.

After returning to the U.S. in 1969, Drew joined the legal staff of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, working on civil rights cases, including a lawsuit that desegregated the Tampa schools he attended as a child. In 1977, he was appointed U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights by President Jimmy Carter, serving through 1980. A member of the faculty at the Yale Law School beginning in 1981, he was named Alfred M. Rankin Professor of Law in 1991 and from 1993 to 1996 he took a leave of absence to serve in the Justice Department as U.S. solicitor general. Drew joined the Hamilton Board of Trustees in 1986.

In his 50th Reunion Yearbook in 2013, Drew wrote “Hamilton’s rigorous public speaking and writing requirements have stood me in good stead at every stage of my professional career. I also believe the College’s liberal arts curriculum prepared me to respond with confidence to changing economic, political and social conditions.”

Drew was a kind, generous, and warm man who cared deeply for Hamilton. It is fitting that the Days-Massolo Center was named in his honor 10 years ago.

Josh Biltekoff ’19, March 26, 2020

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

We are writing with deep sadness to inform you that Josh Biltekoff ’19 died on Sunday, March 22. Josh was described by a faculty member who knew him well as “one of my favorite students, and truly one of the most fascinating young minds I have ever worked with,” and a friend said Josh was “a real ray of sunshine on campus, an irreplaceable leader in the music community, and a beloved friend to many, many students.”

A mathematics major and a music minor, Josh was especially passionate about health and fitness and found a place in the music scene on campus. He was a member of the Buffers and Vibes, and joined Mathletics, the Beekeeping Club, the Hamilton Space Society, and Tau Kappa Epsilon. Those who knew Josh will miss his warmth, sincerity, kindness, and his beautiful voice.

Grieving is difficult in most instances, but our separation makes it even more so. Please reach out for support if you need it through the Counseling Center (counsel@hamilton.edu or call 315-859-4340) or by contacting Chaplain Jeff McArn (jmcarn@hamilton.edu). Jeff has also arranged a virtual community gathering via zoom at 7 p.m. Eastern time tonight. 

On behalf of Josh’s many Hamilton friends, we express our deepest sympathy to his parents, Robert and Darcy, and his extended family. 

David Wippman and Terry Martinez

Robert G. Howard ’46, March 13, 2020

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I’m writing to share the sad news that Life Trustee Bob Howard ’46 has died. Bob, who was 95, and his wife, Janet, celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in February.

Bob was a member of the so-called Greatest Generation, a termed coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe those who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II. He received a scholarship to attend Hamilton as a member of the Class of 1946, but left after only a year to fly planes for the Navy. After graduating in 1948, he returned to his hometown of Binghamton and began working in his family’s hardware store. Four years later, he left that job for what would become a 30-year career in the investment field when he joined the brokerage firm of Reynolds & Company, a firm that was co-founded by Janet’s father. He retired in 1984 as executive vice president of what ultimately became Dean Witter Reynolds.

Bob was a consistently generous supporter of Hamilton. Elected a charter trustee in 1975, he was a stalwart volunteer, notably serving as regional chair for the Campaign for the ’90s. In that capacity, he traveled to 60 cities around the country and London to make the case for supporting Hamilton. Recognizing the financial aid that made possible his own Hamilton education, Bob and Janet established, in 1972, a scholarship fund that has provided support for scores of Hamilton students, and he often inquired about the recipients of that scholarship.

In recognition of Bob’s fidelity and generosity to the College, the diner in the Beinecke Student Activities Village was named in his honor. He was awarded an honorary degree in 1996.

At this time the family has not made plans for a memorial service.

David

2019

Vinh Nguyen, September 24, 2019

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I am writing with the sad news that Vinh Nguyen, who worked as a custodian at Hamilton for more than 38 years, died Monday following a short medical leave.

Vinny worked most recently in Couper Hall and South Residence Hall and was well respected on campus. In 2012, he received the Tobin Award for demonstrating job performance that consistently exceeds expectations and for exemplifying integrity and dedication to the College. A student who nominated him for the award wrote: “I never pass Vinny without receiving a happy ‘hello’ or a cheerful ‘good morning.’ I don’t know what we would do without Vinny, and I am grateful that he has made himself a presence in my Hamilton life. He appreciates us and we appreciate him.”

On behalf of the College, I extend our sympathies to Vinny’s family, especially his children, Quang Nguyen, a member of the Class of 2004, and Truong Nguyen of the Class of 2008.

David

Martin Carovano, August 13, 2019

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

We received word earlier today that J. Martin Carovano, Hamilton’s 16th president, died last night following a long illness.

Martin received his bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He came to Hamilton in 1963 as an instructor in economics and spent the next 25 years on College Hill. After becoming an associate professor in 1969, he was named provost in 1972 and Hamilton’s 16th president in 1974, all while still in his 30s. Following his time at Hamilton, Martin became a senior administrator for the New York State Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Martin Carovano’s tenure will best be remembered for the Hamilton-Kirkland merger, a decision that led to coeducation on College Hill in 1978. Martin’s Way, the red-brick path that links the Hamilton and Kirkland campuses, is named in his honor. President Carovano’s legacy includes improved academic facilities, including renovation of the Saunders Hall of Chemistry (now the Blood Fitness and Dance Center), the conversion of the James Library to Christian A. Johnson Hall, and the construction of the Schambach Center and Wellin Hall. The Margaret Bundy Scott Field House and the William M. Bristol, Jr. Pool were also built during his tenure, and the Root family homes on College Hill Road became Communications and Development (now Advancement) and the Office of Admission (now home to the Division of Student Life and the Registrar’s Office). With the assistance of a dedicated group of trustees and a strengthened fundraising program, the College’s endowment more than tripled during Martin’s presidency, and that has provided Hamilton with a high level of fiscal stability for the past three decades.

At the time of Martin’s retirement, the Alumni Review described him and his presidency as follows: “First of all, a highly organized and concentrated mind, reflecting a keen sense of priority. Secondly, no-nonsense dedication to the task at hand combined with candor and sensitive concern in his relations with others. Thirdly…, a reflective man who weighs his words carefully, is devoid of pretense or bombast, is devoted to his job, and does it conscientiously and to the best of his considerable ability.” More than 30 years later, Hamilton continues to benefit from the courage and integrity that defined Martin Carovano’s leadership.

Expressions of condolence will reach Martin’s wife, Barbara, at St. Paul’s Tower, 100 Bay Place, Apt. 1812, Oakland, CA 94610.

David

Stuart Scott ’61, February 25, 2019

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I am writing to share the sad news that Life Trustee and Chairman Emeritus Stuart L. Scott ’61 has died. Stuart, who turned 80 in August, was the father of seven children, including Phoebe Scott '06 and Christina Scott Feingold ’91. He was on campus last May for the graduation of his granddaughter, Penelope Tornes ’18.

Stuart was a man of great conviction, integrity, and vision. His love for Hamilton was profound, and he demonstrated that affection by giving considerably of his time and donating generously to support College priorities, including establishing two scholarships for students. He made difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions because he knew they were in Hamilton's long-term best interests.

After graduating from Hamilton in 1961 with a degree in English Literature, Stuart earned a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law and began his career as an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He subsequently began a highly distinguished career in real estate, becoming chief executive officer of LaSalle Partners in Chicago and then, following a merger with a British firm, was the founding CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle, the world's leading real estate services and investment management company. He retired as chairman at the end of 2004.

Stuart served as the chair of Hamilton's Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2008. He was first elected to the board as an alumni trustee in 1985 and became a charter trustee in 1989. In addition to serving as chair of the Campaign for the '90s, he chaired the Trustee Committee on Residential Life, was president of the Chicago Alumni Association, and served as chair of the Annual Fund. Hamilton presented Stuart with an honorary degree in 2009.

For Hamilton, Stuart has always been an extraordinary advocate, friend, and benefactor. He will be deeply missed. If you would like to express your sympathy or share a memory of Stuart with his family, I encourage you to send your correspondence to his wife, Anne, at 1700 Shore Acres Road, Lake Bluff, IL 60044.

David

2018

Hans Schambach ’43, April 16, 2018

I write to inform you of the sad news that life trustee Hans H. Schambach '43 has died. He was 97.

Hans was an unassuming, generous and hard-working man who loved the College. At the age of 14, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1935 to live with his aunt and uncle who were the cooks and custodians at the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity house. He assisted with the chores at the house before and after attending school in the Village.

Hans entered Hamilton in 1939 and began working his way through college, but when World War II broke out he was interred, due to his German heritage, at a camp run by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Bismarck, N.D., until the end of the war. In 1947, he established Hamilton Cast Corp., which was named for his alma mater, and fabricated precious metals primarily for the jewelry industry. The company merged with Atlantic Oil Corp. in 1972 and Hans became chairman of the Atlantic Board. After retiring in 1980, he oversaw a vineyard and winery in Italy and devoted more time to collecting rare musical instruments. The collection, which grew to include two priceless Stradivarius violins, was first publicly displayed in 1983 at Hamilton's Emerson Gallery.

Hans believed a college education was available to him only because of the scholarship he received to attend Hamilton. In 1983 – as a means of repaying a "debt to the people of Central New York, the College and the country" – he contributed $1 million to endow a scholarship fund for promising students in need of financial aid (recipients are expected to cover part of their college expenses with on-campus employment). At the time, it was the largest single scholarship endowment ever established at Hamilton, and many current and former students have been able to attend Hamilton because of Hans' generosity. His philanthropy also made possible the Schambach Center for Music and the Performing Arts.

Hans was elected an alumni trustee in 1980, a charter trustee in 1983 and was serving as a life trustee at the time of his death. The College presented him with an honorary degree in 1988.

David

2017

Edward C. Taylor ’46, November 29, 2017

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I write with the sad news that Edward C. Taylor '46, a pioneering chemist, cancer researcher, and Hamilton benefactor, died on Wednesday, Nov. 22. The Taylor Science Center is named for Ted and his wife of nearly 70 years, Ginnie, who died in 2014. The couple also established significant endowments that have provided scholarship aid and research support for scores of Hamilton students during the past 10 years.

Ted enrolled at Hamilton in 1942 intending to become a writer, but a coin flip led him to enroll in chemistry instead of biology for a course requirement, and that launched a career highlighted by the invention of Alimta, one of the world's most effective anti-cancer drugs. While at Hamilton, Ted quickly exhausted all of the chemistry courses offered at the time, then transferred to Cornell where he completed his chemistry degree and earned his Ph.D. But he never forgot his time at Hamilton.

"I owe my lifelong fascination with chemistry to Hamilton which is why I gave my gift to the chemistry department," he said in 2008 when establishing an endowment to support students interested in pursuing chemistry research during the summer. "Some of the most exciting intellectual days of my life were spent at Hamilton."

On behalf of the Hamilton community, especially the students whose attendance here is possible because of the scholarship endowment Ted and Ginnie established, I express our profound condolences to the Taylor family. Ted and Ginnie's influence on Hamilton and our students will be felt forever.

David

Isaiah Carpenter-Winch ’19, September 26, 2017

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I am writing with deep and profound sadness to inform you that Isaiah Carpenter-Winch, a junior from Cambridge, Massachusetts, was found dead earlier today on campus.

When a member of our community dies so suddenly and unexpectedly, especially someone so young and full of promise and possibility, it touches us all. Nothing can prepare us for such a tragedy, and people will respond to it differently. Please know that there are resources throughout campus to assist you.

I encourage you, in the strongest way possible, to reach out to members of the Counseling Center staff, the Chaplaincy and the Dean of Students Office who are available to assist you this evening and in the days ahead. Counselors will be available in the Counseling Center until 8 tonight, and then from 8 to 9:30 with the College chaplain on the third floor of the Chapel. The Counseling Center will have extended hours tomorrow until 7 p.m. Peer counselors provide an additional resource; they will be available from 4 to 10 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday.

On behalf of all of us, I extend our deepest and most profound sympathy to Isaiah’s family. Expressions of support and memories of Isaiah should be sent to the Dean of Students who will forward them to his family. Sometime today or in the days and weeks ahead, please take time to remember Isaiah and his family and friends.

David

Joseph F. Anderson ’44, July 7, 2017

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I write with the sad news that Life Trustee Joe Anderson '44 died during the night. He and his wife Molly recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. They had two children, including Rick '76, whose daughter is a member of the Class of 2016.

Joe was serving as a vice president for Dictaphone when Hamilton President Martin Carovano asked him to assume leadership of Communications and Development in 1974. With a talented group of colleagues, several of whom still work for the College, Joe developed a model alumni relations and fundraising program that embraced the active involvement of alumni volunteers. He was, quite simply, a legend in the development profession. Some of the volunteers Joe identified during his 18 years heading C&D have assumed leadership positions on the Board of Trustees, and he remained a staunch advocate for the work of the College's Advancement Office throughout his retirement.

A native of Buffalo and a Marine Corps veteran, Joe attended Phillips Academy before enrolling at Hamilton where he majored in English and political science. Following graduation, he held several managerial positions in advertising and public relations before serving for 24 years at Dictaphone.

Joe's Hamilton legacy is defined by the people he hired and recruited as volunteers for the College. A private burial service will take place in the near future, and we understand the family is planning a memorial service on campus in conjunction with a future board meeting. If you would like to express your sympathy or share a memory of Joe with his family, please send your correspondence to Rick Anderson at 154 Belden Hill Road, Wilton, CT 06897.

David

Annalise Curtis ’18, April 25, 2017

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

With profound sadness, I write to inform you about a terrible tragedy involving one of our students. Annalise Curtis '18 passed away yesterday in Washington, D.C., where she had been studying as part of our Semester in Washington Program. The cause of her death is not yet known, and may be related to a medical complication.

Nothing can prepare us for the shock and heartbreak we feel when a member of our community dies so suddenly. The pain is felt even more acutely in this case since Annalise spent much of her time at Hamilton helping others as an EMT. We will be talking with Annalise's family about holding a campus memorial service in the coming weeks to celebrate her life and many contributions to our community. In the meantime, an informal gathering has been scheduled tonight from 8 to 10 p.m. on the third floor of the Chapel for friends to come together, seek the comfort of loved ones and remember Annalise.

Members of the Counseling Center and Chaplaincy are also available to assist you. As a reminder, the Counseling Center offers 24-hour coverage, the details for which are available on the center's website. In addition, the Counseling Center will offer extended hours today and tomorrow from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., and peer counselors will be available today from 4 to 10 p.m. and tomorrow from 4 to 7 p.m.

We extend our deepest and most profound condolences to Annalise's family. Expressions of support and memories of Annalise can be sent to her parents: Jeffrey Curtis, 3345 Villa Mesa Rd., Pasadena, CA 91107-1260 and Karen Frederiksen, 1008 N. Howard St., Glendale, CA 91207-1721.

David

2016

Graham Burton ’19, December 14, 2016

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I write with deep sadness and profound heartache to inform you of the tragic death of a member of our community. Graham Burton, a member of the Class of 2019 from Toronto, Canada, died this morning in his residence hall room. It is not possible to express in words the deep sense of loss we feel for such an unexpected tragedy.

Especially at this time of year, and in light of such a heartbreaking event, I encourage anyone who needs it to reach out for support. We will hold an informal gathering this evening at 5:15 p.m. in the College Chapel so that we may come together at this moment of loss. At a later time, we will find another opportunity to join together to celebrate more fully Graham’s life. Members of the Counseling Center and Chaplaincy are also available to assist you today or at any other time you may wish to reach out to them. For those who may have completed their finals and already returned home, the Counseling Center offers 24-hour coverage.

On behalf of the Hamilton community, I extend our deepest and most profound condolences to Graham’s family. Whether tonight in the Chapel, or in the days and weeks ahead, please join me in taking time to remember Graham and his family. I encourage all members of the community to seek the support of loved ones and friends at this difficult time.

Expressions of support and reminiscences will reach Graham’s parents at: Gina and Stewart Burton, 283 Inglewood Dr., Toronto, Canada, Ontario, M4T 1J2.

David

James L. Ferguson ’49, October 4, 2016

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

I am writing to share news that Life Trustee James L. Ferguson’49 died last Wednesday following a brief illness. He was 90.

After graduating from Hamilton in 1949 with a degree in English literature, Mr. Ferguson served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Pacific Theater. He earned an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1951 and joined Procter & Gamble before beginning a long career with General Foods, for which he served as president, chief operating officer and director. He became chief executive officer of the company in 1973 and retired in 1989 as chairman of the Executive Committee. In 1986, to honor his service to the company, General Foods established the James L. Ferguson Professorship at Hamilton. Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Music Sam Pellman is the current holder of that prestigious chair.

An avid traveler and outdoorsman, Mr. Ferguson was chairman of the South Carolina Aquarium and was a trustee of the Aspen Institute, among other community and civic organizations. He wrote in his 50th Reunion Yearbook that he was “eternally grateful for the opportunity to spend four years being intellectually broadened before heading into more ‘practical’ circumstances. I have had some opportunities later in life” he said, “to endorse strongly, to anyone who would listen, the virtues of a liberal arts education as preparation for a very complex and changing world.”

Sincerely,

David

Contact Information


Office of the President

Buttrick Hall
Clinton, NY 13323

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315-859-4105
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