Currently browsing posts filed under "Hank Payne"

Follow this category via RSS

Inexplicable

Hank Payne’s death on Monday was a suicide.

Woodward Academy president Hank Payne wrote a suicide note before taking his life Monday afternoon, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday morning.

The note was left in his eighth-floor Midtown hotel room before he jumped to his death, said Investigator Tami Schroder, who would not disclose the letter’s contents.

Payne’s death came only hours after he gave a rousing speech at a faculty and staff luncheon to kick off 2008 at the College Park school. Ben Johnson, a close friend and the school’s chairman of the board, said Tuesday that “I’ve never seen him more upbeat.”

The death has shocked and saddened the community of the prestigious school.

Said Johnson, “It is as close to totally inexplicable as anything I’ve ever dealt with.”

The Eagle provides more background on Payne’s time at Williams.

While Payne was at Williams, construction began on the college’s $45 million science center project, planning started on the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance, and a new student center opened in Goodrich Hall. He also initiated three major planning processes focusing on the curriculum, on student life outside the classroom and on the college’s major financial priorities, according to the college.

In 2000, Williams College renamed the Great Hall in Goodrich the Harry C. Payne Hall. He also is commemorated with the Harry C. Payne Williams College Professorship in the Liberal Arts, designed to promote and support interdisciplinary teaching and research.

Condolences to all.

Facebooktwitter

Payne, RIP

Former Williams President Hank Payne died yesterday.

Students at Woodward Academy in College Park returned from winter break Tuesday to news that the private school’s president, Harry C. “Hank” Payne, had died on Monday.

Payne, 60, was found dead Monday afternoon in Midtown Atlanta. The cause of death was being investigated by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.

His death was announced on the Woodward Academy web site.

“The school has flourished over the past seven years under Dr. Payne’s leadership,” the note on the Web site reads. “We have become a community in every sense. Now our community faces the most difficult of tasks — to mourn a great man, a visionary leader and a loyal friend.”

Payne was named president of Woodward in July 2000 after serving as president of Williams College in Massachusetts from 1994 to 1999.

I met Payne only once, at the class of 1988’s 10th year reunion. Judging from Record coverage at the time, he was doing a fine job. I congratulated him on his performance as president. He graciously acknowledged the compliment while pointing out the working at Williams was “easy duty.” Indeed. While President Payne’s time at Williams ended on an awkward note, with the faculty and town in open revolt over the proposed new theatre, there can be no doubt that he loved Williams and served her well.

Condolences to all.

Facebooktwitter

Currently browsing posts filed under "Hank Payne"

Follow this category via RSS