Currently browsing posts filed under "In Memoriam"

Follow this category via RSS

Next Page →

Gavin McIntire – RIP

From an member of the Class of ’11 in Speak Up:

Gavin McIntire ’12 passed away in an accident this week, while on leave from the College. See Record article here
The senior class lost two classmates last year, Jamie Neal and Henry Lo, and now the community has lost another member.

From the obituary in the Record:

Gavin attended St. Luke’s School in New Canaan, Conn., and matriculated at the College in the fall of 2008. He played on the College squash team and enjoyed his work as a writing tutor. Gavin was an economics and Spanish double major, and he was also particularly interested in history. He spent this past fall semester studying abroad in Chile and spent the current semester on leave from the College interning for the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), working freelance for the online English learning program Open English and learning Portuguese.

Condolences to Gavin’s family and friends.


The Passing of Stephen Bodner

From the Chair of the Music Department:

To all our wonderful music students,

There aren’t words to express what we are all experiencing now, with the sudden, inexplicable, cruel death of Steve Bodner. He was a true force of nature, with a heart as big as the universe, and what has happened makes no sense at all. The hole this leaves in our lives, individually and collectively, is huge, and the loss to our department immeasurable.

Department faculty and staff will be here all day to offer what support we can; there will be an email from the Chaplain’s Office this afternoon about an opportunity later today for the entire college community to gather together to remember Steve. Jenny Dewar is creating an online message board that we will be able to access through the department website to share memories and pay tribute to a superb musician, teacher, colleague, mentor, and friend. I will keep you all informed, and please be in touch with any faculty or staff here in the department if there is anything we can do to help at this terrible time.

We’ll be gathering tonight in Chapin Hall. Also see the letter from the President.


Marsh ’95, RIP

Very sad news:

NICHOLAS ANDREW MARSH (Age 37) On Sunday, September 26, 2010 of Washington, DC. Beloved husband of Navis A. Bermudez; loving son of Linda (Dr. William DeVries) and James (Kim) Marsh. Also survived by aunts, uncles, cousins and many wonderful and loving friends. Along with his faithful canine companion, Bourbon. Nicholas was born in Elizabethtown, KY and was 1991 graduate of St. Xavier High School in Louisville, KY where he received the recognition for Freshman”s Scholar. In 1995, Nick graduated from Williams College Magna Cum Laude with double BAs in Philosophy and History. At graduation, Williams College awarded Nick with prestigious Gaius Charles Bolin, 1889 Essay prize in Afro-American Studies. Nick lettered in lacrosse. He also completed a one year course in Philosophy in Oxford and was Oxford Blue lettered in lacrosse. In 1998, Nick graduated from Duke University Schoool of Law in addition to JD in Law. He was awarded a Master”s degree in Literature. Upon completion of law school, he clerked on the 9th Circuit under Judge Andrew Kleinfeld in Fairbanks, AK. He worked for the law firms of Sullivan and Cromwell and Hale and Dorr in New York City. In 2003, he accepted a position as a prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Nick loved all sports with baseball and college basketball his favorites. He was an avid reader, cook and loved music and just resumed playing his soprano saxophone. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, September 30, 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 1328 16th St. N.W., Washington, DC. Interment Hebron Cemetery, Shepherdsville, KY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nicholas A. Marsh Class of 1995 – Williams College, 75 Park Street, Williamstown, MA 01267.


An Historian in History, continued

Part II of a remembrance of Tony Judt by Norman Birnbaum ’46. Part I is here.

To that discussion, Professor Judt contributed quite apart from his books and role in the projects and programs of his university, by joining colleagues in editing volumes on some of the central themes of contemporary historiography: language and identity politics, post-war retribution in Europe amongst these. He has also been a prominent, one could almost say omnipresent contributor to those symposium collections which  frequently mark the advance (and just as frequently and just as instructively, the puzzlement) of contemporary thought before problems like the Mideast crisis and Zionism, the past, present and future of the left, the new dimensions of European consciousness and European reality.  Professor Judt worked in these settings with scholars in the humanities, social scientists from the more systematic disciplines (or those like the study of politics and sociology which thought of themselves in this way, sometimes  with entirely too much self-aggrandisement.) His own method might be termed weighted narrative, weighted with a great deal of knowledge, and shaped in the last analysis by the open acknowledgement that historical judgements are just that, judgements which require the moral engagement of the scholar.

In  the book that followed Past Imperfect, his study of three French figures,  the political commentator and scholar Raymond Aron, the Socialist leader and major political figure, Leon Blum, and the essayist and novelist Albert Camus, these three disparate spirits are connected by their own assumption of  responsibility for judgements which often contravened the reigning assumptions of their contemporaries, not least of their allies and friends., That is why, presumably, Professor Judt entitled the book, The Burden of Responsibility. Interestingly, the sub-title did not list the protagonists alphabetically, but put Blum first, followed with the novelist and gave Aron (a fellow scholar) the third place. Blum’s break with the constrictions and dogmas of the pre-war Socialist party, his steadfastness in the face of the implacable hatred of the French right, his courage at the Vichy show trial of  leaders of the Third Republic, made him in Judt’s view unique amongst French politicians. Camus impressed his chronicler for his insistence on the sense of place, rootedness, as an end of politics and not as an unreflective and often exclusionary assumption. Aron (Professor Judt had he written the book later might have included Francois Furet) earned his place not only for the range and specificity of his historical knowledge, but for his sense of historical limits, his capacity to imagine the dilemmas of politicians acting in real time and not the imaginary universe of the Parisian scholastics of the left. Read more


An Historian in History: In Memory of Tony Judt

Originally delivered as the prize oration for Prof. Judt’s Remarque Prize award in 2007 from the city of Osnabrueck.

Tony Judt was born in London in 1948, on the edge of the legendary East End. It was the place described by Dickens in his portrayals of the misery of the nineteenth century proletariat. Later it was the London equivalent of New York’s lower east side or Berlin’s Scheunenviertel or the Parisian area around the Rue de Rosieres: the eastern European ghetto transplanted to the west as the Ashkenazim sought lives free of economic misery, social persecution and civic disenfranchisement. Dr. Judt’s father came indeed from the Ukraine and arrived in the UK after a passage through Belgium.

When Dr. Judt was growing up, Britain was marked by three things. One was its post-imperial exhaustion, its obvious loss of power and wealth. There was even a discernible tone not of sorrow but of resentment—at the Americans, at the continental Europeans who were recovering so visibly from economic distress, at a world which regarded the British lion as somewhat mangy and toothless,. and in no case a frightening or impressive creature. Per contra, another development was for a great majority positive: the extension and institutionalization of the prewar elements of a welfare state, achieved by Labour in its two post-war governments., That was Britain’s considerable contribution to the development of the European social model. It included a considerable broadening of the basis of access to higher education, and so made possible a British version of the carriere ouvert aux talents. Dr. Judt himself attended a good local grammar school, in German terms an ordinary Gymnasium, and then won a place at the very pinnacle of the British university system, not only as an undergraduate at Cambridge but at King’s College, jewel in the Cantabridgian academic crown. The third aspect of the national setting of Dr. Judt’s youth was Britain’s early choice of the American alliance over a European vocation—until in the sixties it occurred to successive governments that, with whatever regrets, they had to take geography into account and that the British isles were in fact situated not where Iceland can still be found but some few kilometers from France. Still, it is accurate to say that des[pite this insight, Britain stumbled hesitantly into its membership of what was then the Common Market rather than marching resolutely into it. Resolution was reserved for the President of France, who did not want an American satellite state in his Europe and so for a time blocked British entry.

That sketches the general canvas, but on this Dr. Judt applied some more personal touches. He was, early, a Zionist and visited Israel in the late sixties and after the 1967 war to work on a Kibbutz. This was the period in which the social democratic aspects of the Israel political persona were more salient than they are today, when Israel could still be depicted as an experiment in democracy, when the many conflicts within Israel were rather less visible than they are now (between secular pluralism and dogmatic orthodoxy, between democracy and ethnicity, between pervasive militarization and the development of a civil society) Dr. Judt’s later pessimism about Israel’s future (shared by no small number of Israelis and many reflective Diaspora Jews) is not, then, a matter of remoteness from the Jewish state but is connected to first hand experience of it. Read more


Team Pinsky completes Pan-Mass Challenge

The Pan-Mass Challenge was the weekend of August 7-8, and 10 Team Pinsky riders participated in the event in memory of Aaron Pinsky ’06. On day 1, all 10 riders completed the 111 miles from Sturbridge to Bourne, where a pack of Team Pinsky supporters waited with a banner cheering the team on.

On day 2, 6 riders proudly wore Team Pinsky jerseys – masterfully created by Galen Glaze ’06 – and rode 81 miles across Cape Cod, from Bourne to Provincetown. It was a special weekend, with perfect weather and an incredible atmosphere.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the Pan-Mass Challenge through Team Pinsky. To date, Team Pinsky has raised $69,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, almost double our minimum fundraising requirements. We remain in awe that we will be able to donate so much to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Aaron Pinsky’s memory. Thank you to everyone for your support and contributions.

Thank you,

Team Pinsky

Ellie Schmidt ’06, Adam Ain ’06, Geoff O’Donoghue ’06, Alex Smith ’06, Mary Singer ’06, Gillian McBride ’06, Adrienne Boardman, Andrew Boardman, Eoin Byrne, Will Schmidt, and Mary Ridge

[Posted by Ronit Bhattacharyya ’07]


Team Pinsky Update

Thank you to everyone who has donated to the Pan-Mass Challenge through Team Pinsky. We’ve been incredibly touched by everyone’s support over the past couple months, and we’ve already raised $50,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the memory of Aaron Pinsky ’06.

As we approach the ride this weekend, we’re also nearing our goal of $55,000. If you have not yet donated and would like to, you can donate to Team Pinsky at Click on the “Donate to my Ride” link to contribute.

Thank you,

Team Pinsky


Team Pinsky
Ellie Schmidt ’06, Adam Ain ’06, Geoff O’Donoghue ’06, Alex Smith ’06, Mary Singer ’06, Gillian McBride ’06, Adrienne Boardman, Andrew Boardman, Eoin Byrne, and Will Schmidt


“I never could have gotten in there today”

A touching Steinbrenner tribute written by former Yankees batboy Matthew McGough ’97.


Fay Vincent ’60 on the passing of George Steinbrenner ’52


I knew him well. He left baseball under pressure from me in 1990 and was out for two years. Then he begged me to let him back into our game, and I did so because I thought he had made a silly deal for himself when he had asked me to let him leave baseball for life after having engaged in a vicious effort to discredit the Yankee player, David Winfield.

This is not the place to revisit all that drama, but I let him back because I thought then and still believe he did not deserve to be banned for life.

We had our battles and he did some ugly and grim things as he fought to rebuild the Yankees. But he also did some wonderfully generous and thoughtful things to help those whose needs fit his areas of concern. Let me record two such generous acts that have been unreported.

Long before I went into baseball I was CEO of Columbia Pictures. I had never met George but, of course, knew who he was. This was in the early ’80s, when he was well along in his baseball career. He and I had attended Williams College, where we both also admired the football coach there.

One day George called me to ask me for a favor. He told me our old coach was retired to Florida but was ill with Alzheimer’s disease, as was his wife. George told me he was calling those who had played for our old coach to ask for funds to help hire nurses to care for the coach and his wife.

And for several years, he called me when it was time to renew the gifts, and each year he raised the funds and supplied the vital assistance to these two needy old friends. There was never any public mention made of what he had done.

On another occasion, I called him for help. An old friend of mine was afflicted with Lou Gehrig’s disease and was dying. But my friend harbored one final dream of getting to Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1989, when the Yankees were planning to pay tribute to the memory of Gehrig, whose iconic farewell speech to the fans had been made precisely 50 years earlier on July 4, 1939. It also happened to be the day on which my friend had been born.

When I asked George to help me make the dream come true, George not only agreed to help but insured that every effort was made to get my friend with his hospital bed, respirator and several nurses into the upper levels of the stadium where he was able to see the game.

Somehow, with much effort and difficulty, we managed to give the ALS victim a remarkable few hours at the ballpark, and he was very grateful.

When I later gave George my profuse thanks, his only response was that he was glad to have helped. I often wondered whether he was just a bit embarrassed to be seen as having a soft and caring dimension.

Read the whole thing

Question for readers more familiar with the history of Williams football – who was the football coach that both men looked up to?


The end of an era. RIP George Steinbrenner, ’52

I haven’t been on Ephblog for a while, but I saw this photograph of Mr. Steinbrenner proudly wearing his Williams hat, and felt compelled to add a personal reminiscence.

When I first started to follow baseball as a boy in Kansas City (the outskirts i.e. countryside), the Royals seemed to be locked in an eternal struggle with the Yankees and given the general midwest sentiment that Manhattan is just a stone’s throw away from Gomorrah, I grew to not like the Yankees very much, particularly that not particularly nice man who seemed to fire his manager depending on whether it was a day that started with “T” or not. George Steinbrenner in my early baseball development stood as a sort of Eastern ogre, constantly angry, yet with a team that seemed to own the Royals in the post season. I can’t deny that one of my biggest thrills was watching him storm out of Royals Stadium in the 1980 playoffs after the Yanks gave away a game to the Royals, with the ABC cameraman following him up the stadium stairs and Howard Cosell adding to the drama by explaining “exactly what was going on in Steinbrenner’s mind”.

Once I got to Williams, I started to hear all of the “urban myths” around his time as an Eph and came to realize that 1) he was probably the best known alumnus of Williams and more importantly, 2) he was the best thing to happen to baseball in a long time. Yes, he could get a little out of control. Yes, he carried grudges; I’m fairly certain that Dave Winfield won’t be shedding many tears today. But in a sport that has become even more corporate and staid as I’ve gotten older, George provided drama and comedy, real human features that made the game fun to follow. And, Big George won, once he started to develop the farm system again and stop thinking that the keys to success were high priced free agents.

When he bought the Yankees in 1973 from CBS, quite a few people thought he was mad: Yankee Stadium was in horrible shape and the team, quite frankly, sucked. He leaves this world as the owner of one of the world’s most valuable sports teams and an American legend. Thanks for everything, George, from an appreciative fellow Eph. Do me a favor though. If you run into Billy Martin up there, go a little easier on him this time ;)

Chris Gondek ’90


George Steinbrenner ’52 Passes

Via postings from 1980 and others: ‘George Steinbrenner died this morning. He was a very generous supporter of athletics at Williams.’  Our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.


Riding for Aaron Pinsky ’06

This August, 7 Williams alums will be riding across Massachusetts in the Pan-Mass Challenge in honor of fellow alum Aaron Pinsky ’06, who passed away from brain cancer on February 13, 2010. Aaron was diagnosed with the condition in January, 2008, and in the following 2 years he inspired his friends, family, and doctors as he faced his condition with incredible poise, courage, and self-awareness.

Last fall, when his prognosis became clear, a collection of his college and high school friends decided to form “Team Pinsky” and complete this 2 day, 192 mile bike ride across Massachusetts in his honor. We chose the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) because 100% of all rider-raised dollars goes to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where Pinsky received his treatment. Since its 1980 inception, the PMC has contributed $270 million to Dana-Farber through the Jimmy Fund. This year, Team Pinsky will be raising at least $36,000 of the PMC’s $31 million target in his name.

Please help us achieve our goal. To donate, go to and click on the “Donate to my Ride” link.

Please also pass this on to friends and family members who Pinsky touched during his lifetime or who may be touched by this story and would want to support this cause.

Thank you,

Team Pinsky


Team Pinsky
Ellie Schmidt ’06, Adam Ain ’06, Geoff O’Donoghue ’06, Alex Smith ’06, Mary Singer ’06, Gillian McBride ’06, Adrienne Boardman, Andrew Boardman, Eoin Byrne, and Will Schmidt

Posted by Ronit Bhattacharyya ’07


RIP, James Wood ’63

Getty Trust President and CEO James Wood, one of the leading members of the Williams Art Mafia and, appropriately, a “leader of museum leaders,” died Friday at age 69. Wood was previously Director of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Wood is remembered by some of his peers (including Eph Michael Govan ’85) here.  Wood is one of the few prominent Ephs without a Wikipedia page.  Someone informed about his legacy should remedy that.


News Concerning Williams-Exeter Students

To the Williams Community,

I can now update some of you and inform others about the horrible accident Sunday that has brought such grief to the Williams community. We are shocked by this sudden turn of events and need to support each other, especially those most directly involved.

Here’s what we know.

Seven of our students at the Williams-Exeter Programme at Oxford University (WEPO), along with two Oxford students, had organized a weekend hiking trip near the town of Frutigen in the Swiss Alps.

While walking yesterday, they were hit by an avalanche of snow, ice, and rocks. Henry Lo ’11 was swept to his death, and Amy Nolan ’11 suffered a blow to her head. Swiss rescuers responded quickly, retrieving Henry’s body and taking Amy by helicopter to a hospital in Bern. We’re told that she never lost consciousness. She was operated on yesterday, and the student who was allowed to visit her today reports that she was talking and smiling. Her parents, Cathy and Jim Nolan, professor of sociology, are now there with her.

None of the other hikers was injured. Swiss authorities activated an English-speaking response team to support them and take them to Bern, where U.S. Consulate officials were engaged.

The students have now arrived back at the Williams complex in Oxford, where they and the other Programme students are being tended to by Resident Director Tom Kohut and members of Exeter College, including the Rector, Dean, and Chaplain. The University is still in term, which ends later this month.

At this profoundly sad moment our hearts are first with Henry’s family for their sudden and devastating loss. As a parent, I can’t imagine the effect of such an occurrence. Henry was a math and religion major from Franklin Square, N.Y. His fellow students in the Programme wrote this moving tribute to him:

Henry, you transcended social boundaries – you went out of your way to show an interest in all of our lives. It was this selflessness and generosity that will stay with us. You saw our quirks and you loved us for them, just as we loved you for yours. We will remember you for so many things from your escapades on football crew dates, your WEPO Iron Chef entry of chocolate covered bacon, listening to Yeasayer and Chiddy Bang late at night, to Ice-ing and, most of all, your fantastic meals.

You made the most of your time here at Oxford: football, kickboxing, working out, wine-tasting, truly loving your academic work, not to mention all your socializing. This list only scratches the surface. To borrow some of your own words, you were not a gamer, you were a competitor. You made such a huge impression on all of us in less than a year – we all wish we could spend more time with you, get to know you even better. We can’t believe you’ve been taken from us.

As we write this, all the memories that come up make it clear how much you meant to all of us here at WEPO. You will live long in our memories.

In Memoriam,
WEPO 09-10

No plans have yet been set for any services.

Our thoughts are also with the Nolan family, including Amy’s brother David ’13, who are having to cope with such an unsettling development.

We all of us need also to support the other students on the trip, which became traumatic for them, and everyone in the Programme, since all have been emotionally affected.

The students are being wonderfully caring of each other, as we would expect in such a community, and their families also have reached out to provide mutual support. But it will take time for all of us to recover, which we should be sure to help each other do.

Meanwhile, our deep thanks go to the many people, on both continents, who’ve been involved in the response.

Adam Falk


Lo ’11 Killed in Avalanche

Tragic news:

To the Williams Community,

I am writing with tragic and shocking news.

Earlier today, while some of our Williams-Exeter students were on a hiking trip in the Swiss Alps, an avalanche occurred. Henry Lo ‘11 was killed and Amy Nolan ‘11 was injured.

Five other Williams students and two Oxford students were on the trip, none of them injured.

Amy, the daughter of Jim Nolan, professor of sociology, and sister of Jim Nolan ’13, has been helicoptered to a hospital in Bern, Switzerland, where the early prognosis is encouraging.

We have been in touch with the students. A Swiss police team is working with them and will get them this evening to a hotel in Bern. A U.S. Embassy official will be there.

Back in Oxford, the remaining Williams-Exeter students have been informed, and Exeter College officials are helping our resident representatives in supporting them.

We will be in touch as we learn more.

Meanwhile, our thoughts are with all involved, especially Henry’s and Amy’s families and friends.

Adam Falk

Condolences to all.


Jamie Neal

To the Williams Community,

I am shocked and saddened to report that, while on leave from the College, Jamie Neal died suddenly at home.

Our hearts go out to her family and friends at this profoundly sad time.

Her obituary is available at

Jamie came here in Fall 2006 as a member of the Class of 2010 and was most recently in residence at the College in Fall 2008. In addition to her being a member of the varsity basketball team, she will be remembered by those who knew her here as being a young woman full of life with a natural way of growing close to people.

Members of the campus community are understandably unsettled by this news. I encourage us all to be aware of who around us might be in need of our support.

A celebration of Jamie’s life is scheduled for Friday, March 26, at 11 a.m. at the First Parish Church in Duxbury, Mass.

Karen Merrill
Dean of the College


Dick Kraft ’52 passes away

A statement from George Steinbrenner ’52:

Kraft, who started his Yankees tenure as an administrative assistant, progressed all the way up to vice president of community relations. Kraft left that position in 1994, but Steinbrenner remained close with him all the way up to his passing.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Dick Kraft, who was my great friend for 60 years,” Steinbrenner said. “We were roommates at Williams College and played together on the football team. He was a strong, tough lineman, who we called ‘Pusher’ for his driving abilities on the line of scrimmage.”

Kraft, a seasonal resident of Tampa , Fla., passed away Monday at the age of 79.

“Dick worked for the Yankees beginning in 1984 as an administrative assistant,” said Steinbrenner. “He retired in 1994, and ever since had worked with me closely during spring practice in Tampa. Dick was — and always will be — a champion to me, and my loyal friend, who I will miss dearly. I extend my deepest sympathies to his wife, Emily, and their daughters, Debbie and Pam, and his entire family.”

Our condolences to the family.


The Passing of Lawrence Graver

To the Williams Community,

I am sad to report the death Sunday of a much-loved member of the College community — Lawrence Graver, the John Hawley Roberts Professor of English Emeritus.

Generations of students tell of the passion for great writing inspired in them by Larry, whose humility never hid the depth of his engagement with literature and the world. He wrote of the excitement he derived when students “recognized and responded to . . . a special power inherent in the language of fiction, poetry and theater: the power to stir and give pleasure, but also to make us aware of previously unthought of possibilities of thinking feeling, speaking and existing.”

The world, too, came to appreciate the specialness of Larry’s mind. His books, which grew out of his teaching, continue to be read internationally. These include two on Samuel Beckett and “An Obsession With Anne Frank: Meyer Levin and the Diary,” a scholarly work of the first order that also became an influential trade book.

Larry was as generous with colleagues as with students. From his arrival at Williams in 1964 until well after his retirement in 1997 he seemed always to have time for you, even during his years of service as Chair of the English Department and as a member or chair of key committees.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Suzanne, the Andrew Mellon Emerita Faculty Fellow, and their daughters.

A funeral will be held Wednesday, March 3, at 12:30 p.m. at the Jewish Religious Center, followed by a private burial at the College Cemetery. A College Memorial Service will be held in mid-April.

With regards,
Bill Wagner
Interim President


Aaron Pinsky ’06, ‘from the Top’

From the Top

Aaron appeared on From the Top’s 49th show back in 2001 with his wind octet from NEC. On the episode Christopher O’Riley praised Aaron’s commanding ‘radio voice’ and played a clip of Aaron’s radio show “Any Given Wednesday” at Concord-Carlisle High School. Honor Aaron with us today and listen to his performance on our web site (he comes in at about 35 minutes in). We know he was very proud to have performed on From the Top. His wind octet was truly one of the best we’ve heard in our ten years on the air.

Listen to the show:

In deepest sympathy.

Aaron Michael Pinsky

Obituary and memorial service info from the Boston Globe:

PINSKY, Aaron Michael 25, of Carlisle, died Saturday morning February 13, 2010 at home, surrounded by his loving family and his fiancée, after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, February 21, 1984, the beloved son of Lincoln N. and Denise “Peg” (Paquin) Pinsky, he attended the Carlisle schools and was a graduate of Concord Carlisle High School in the Class of 2002.

Aaron had diverse interests and talents. An accomplished musician, he played the French horn as a member of the Concord Carlisle High School Concert Band. He was twice selected to participate in the Northeast Massachusetts District Orchestra, and twice to the All Massachusetts State Orchestra. In addition, Aaron performed at the New England Conservatory where he was a member of the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble, the Youth Symphony, a wind octet, and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the premier youth orchestra in Greater Boston. One of the highlights of Aaron’s musical career was his wind octet performance on the NPR radio show “From the Top” in 2001. Aaron was a member of his high school golf team for four years and represented Vesper Country Club in the 2001 Junior Lowell City Tournament. He was also the Co-Host of “Any Given Wednesday,” the most popular program on radio station WIQH at Concord Carlisle High School. Aaron went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Williams College in Williamstown, MA in 2006. An active student at his school, he continued his love of music and the French horn as a member of the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra. Aaron served on the staff of the Williams Record, the school newspaper, as a sports writer and rose to become Sports Editor. In addition, he was the play-by-play announcer for the football and basketball teams for the college radio station WCFM. He had the opportunity to broadcast the Div III Final Fours from Norfolk, VA in 2000. When Williams College narrowly lost in the finals. He also served as a Junior Advisor for first-year students and upon graduation, a Class Agent for the Williams College Alumni Association.

After graduation, Aaron worked as a Market Research Consultant for Marketing and Planning Systems in Waltham. An enthusiastic sports fan of Boston teams, he was especially loyal to the Red Sox and Celtics. More than anything, Aaron was thoughtful, kindhearted, and loving to his family and wide circle of friends. His infectious smile, quick wit, and ironic sense of humor gained him love and affection from many. He faced his illness with bravery and profound inner strength. Besides his parents, Aaron is survived by his sister Rachel A. Pinsky of Somerville; his fiancée Eleanor C. Schmidt of Cambridge; several aunts, uncles and cousins.

At his request, a private burial was held. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Memorial Service to be held Saturday March 6, 2010 at the First Parish Church, 20 Lexington Road in Concord at 11 AM. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to Adult Brain Tumor Research Fund, Center for Neuro-Oncology, SW430D, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115 or Partners Hospice, 281 Winters St., Waltham, MA 02451. E-condolences to Arrangements by the O’Donnell Funeral Home – Lowell (978 or 866) 458-8768.


Aaron Pinsky ’06, RIP

Jay shares some tremendously sad news:
Dear Friends,

It greatly saddens me to share the news that our classmate, Aaron Pinsky, passed away early Saturday morning after a two-year battle with cancer.

His memorial service will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 6 at the First Parish (20 Lexington Road) in Concord, Mass. If you wish to express your condolences to Aaron’s parents, their address is:

[temporarily removed by request]

If you wish to express your condolences to Aaron’s fiancée, Ellie Schmidt ‘06, her address is:

[available via Williams alumni site]

My thoughts are with all those who knew Aaron. If you have questions or if I can be of any help, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

My sincere condolences to all.


Griffin Dunne on Dominick Dunne ’49

Griffin Dunne, son of the late Dominick Dunne, discusses his father’s life and last novel, Too Much Money, on The Leonard Lopate Show.


He would have wanted people to understand


Relatives, friends say goodbye to slain professor Richard Antoun

BINGHAMTON — Richard T. Antoun’s final lesson would have been one of understanding his accused killer.

“He would have wanted people to understand, not judge,” said his sister, Linda Antoun Miller, following a memorial service Friday for Richard Antoun. […]

More than 400 people crowded into the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Riverside Drive to say goodbye to Antoun. A table in the congregation’s sanctuary was decorated with a portrait of Antoun, a Red Sox cap, and a coffee bean grinder that was a gift from a friend in the Middle East.

The professor had close ties to the Middle East. His grandfather was Lebanese and much of his work in academia centered in that region of the world, colleagues said.

The mementos were a backdrop to what Antoun’s family, friends and colleagues said about a man described as both brilliant and kind.

Continue reading here.


Richard T. Antoun ’53, RIP

Richard T. Antoun '53

A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 11th, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton, 183 Riverside Drive, Binghamton, NY 13905. Visiting hours will be from 11:30-12:30 and the service will begin at 12:30. Expressions of sympathy in memory of Dick may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton (UUCB) to support interfaith programming or the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW).

Please see below for articles and comments with many tributes to Professor Antoun. Read more


Safire and Singapore and Williams

While marking the passing of William Safire, Prof. Sam Crane recounts a fascinating bit of Williams history. This should be enough to pique your interest:

I never met Safire face-to-face, but one late summer we found ourselves thrown together as adversaries of the Singapore government.  Rest in peace.

Read the whole thing here.


Thomas Hedley Reynolds ’42, RIP


From Bates Views:

Thomas Hedley Reynolds, known for nearly three decades of transformational leadership at two Maine educational institutions, died Tuesday, Sept. 22, at his home in Newcastle, Maine, after a long illness. He was 88 years old.

His wife of 24 years, Mary Bartlett Reynolds, was with him at the time of death.

Reynolds served as president of Bates College from 1967 through 1989, and of the University of New England from 1990 to 1995. His success as commander of an armored unit in the Mediterranean theater of World War II came to symbolize Reynolds’ qualities as an academic leader: far-reaching vision, decisiveness and energetic determination.

At Bates, Reynolds presided over a regional school’s evolution into a national liberal arts college now regarded as one of the nation’s best. He led Bates to strengthen its faculty and curriculum, add such key facilities as a modern library and arts center, diversify its student body and eliminate the SAT requirement.

“He brought a renewed sense of confidence and purpose,” says John Cole, a faculty member who arrived soon after Reynolds and now holds an endowed history professorship bearing Reynolds’ name. “He enlarged this place, invigorated it, professionalized it.”

Reynolds left retirement to become the third president of the University of New England, in Biddeford. (The university added a Portland campus in 1996.) Originally taking the position on a short-term basis, Reynolds ended up giving that growing institution five years of valuable service.

“He saw something here, material in the raw that had the potentiality for greatness,” UNE trustee Neil Rolde wrote in a 1995 tribute to Reynolds in “Coastlines,” the UNE magazine. “That is perhaps his greatest gift to what is, after all, a fledgling institution, now on its feet, no longer shaky, ready to flex its muscles.”

Reynolds was born on Nov. 23, 1920, in New York, the son of Wallace and Helen (Hedley) Reynolds. He attended The Browning School in New York City and Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1938. In 1942 he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Williams College.

With America embroiled in World War II, Reynolds enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a unit commander in a tank battalion that fought in North Africa and Italy. Reynolds earned the Army’s Bronze Star and the French Croix de Guerre with Silver Star.

Link to complete obituary

A memorial service for President Emeritus Reynolds takes place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in the Bates College Chapel, College Street. For more information, please call the Office of the President, Bates College, at 207-786-6102. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

The Thomas Hedley Reynolds Professorship in History, in care of the Office of College Advancement, Bates College, 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, Maine 04240;

Or, to the scholarship fund at the University of New England in President Reynolds’ memory, in care of Scott Marchildon ’95, assistant vice president of institutional advancement, UNE, 716 Stevens Ave., Portland, Maine 04103; telephone 207-221-4230.

Reynolds’ contributions to Bates are documented in his administration files, available at the Muskie Archives and described online.


Tribute to Fred Stocking ’36 on All Things Considered


Consult your stomach

NPR religion correspondent Barbara Bradley Hagerty ’81 writes a moving tribute to Professor Fred Stocking ’36.

(hat tip)

Audio for this story from All Things Considered will be available at approx. 7:00 p.m. ET (I assume it will be broadcast on All Things Considered today – tune in to your local NPR affiliate!)

Also via NPR: Link to address Fred Stocking gave to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Williams College in 1977


Tributes to Senator Kennedy

From Chan Lowe ’75.


From Derek Catsam ’93:

I grew up in New Hampshire, so Kennedy was never literally my Senator, but for all intents and purposes he was the Senator who represented me, a liberal, in a state that was during the 1980s as solidly Republican as ever there was. I was stunned when I read about his death even when it was obvious for months that this moment was coming. I had to compose myself for a second, before diving in to read and remember why Ted Kennedy was such a vital figure in American political life for four decades.

Also from Catsam:

South Africa in the 1980s might well mark the most sustained American engagement with an African issue. It is easy to forget just how regularly South Africa appeared on the nightly news (kids, ask your parents) and how many column issues the tumult occupied, especially once the Vaal Triangle uprising in the last third of 1984 set off arguably the most intense sustained period of anti-apartheid activity. And Ted Kennedy was among the voices of conscience who translated those words intom concrete action. Kennedy was not alone, nor was he even the most important driving force behind the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1985. But it was one of hundreds of issues on which Kennedy took leadership in his long career. He truly was a giant in American political life.

Hamba kahle, Senator Kennedy.

From Chap Petersen ’90:

In my parents’ lifetime, the election of John F. Kennedy as President was a seminal event — a younger generation taking control of a nation’s destiny. The life and death of Robert F. Kennedy was on the same historic arc. He had a vision for the nation that was bigger and broader than it had been.

My siblings and I came of age in a different era, perhaps more cynical. The brand name “Kennedy” did not have the same magic. Those who tried to capitalize politically on that name in the last ten years have largely failed. Political dynasties do not last forever in this country and that’s a good thing.

No matter. Ted Kennedy was able to span both eras, literally. He was there when “liberalism” was all the rage. And he was there when it was hopelessly out of fashion. Either way, he fought the good fight. He finished the race. He kept the faith.

Sam Crane posts a Mencian thought:

If you want to put my words into practice, why not return to fundamentals? When every five-acre farm has mulberry trees around the farmhouse, people wear silk at fifty. And when the proper seasons of chickens and pigs and dogs are not neglected, people eat meat at seventy. When hundred-acre farms never violate their proper seasons, even large families don’t go hungry. Pay close attention to the teaching in village schools, and extend it to the child’s family responsibilities – then, when their silver hair glistens, people won’t be out on the roads and paths hauling heavy loads. Our black-haired people free of hunger and cold, wearing silk and eating meat in old age – there has never been such times without a true emperor.

Stephen Rose ’58 says health care reform was his great cause and that Kennedy was sounding the Obama message in the 1980s.

From Dan Blatt ’85:

He may have been a liberal, but, as the years passed, he did not treat his political adversaries as enemies, instead he saw many as colleagues who, though coming from different political and philosophical perspectives, were fighting the same fight, seeking to achieve the same goal–the welfare and well-being of the United States of America and its people.

He was, as we all are, flawed, but, in the hour of his passing, let us remember his strengths. And they were many.

From commenter nuts:

Ephs who respect Ted Kennedy might enjoy listening to his eulogy for his brother Bobby. I have a great admiration for Ted’s compassion, his vision of public service and his ability to express himself in a powerful way.

David Kaiser writes a fascinating essay about Kennedy in historical perspective – an extract:

But the big news this week, of course, is the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, which has affected me far more than I would have thought. Of the three Kennedy brothers who at least made it to 30 he was the one I had not studied in detail, and I had never regarded him as presidential timber. His loss is however a shock because he is the only political figure of whom I had been continuously aware for more than 49 years, since I began reading about the Kennedy family in the 1960 campaign. He has been in the US Senate since I was 15, and he is a link, in many ways, to the more distant past. I shall now try to place him generationally and historically.

Two things about Teddy stand out in historical perspective: he belonged to what Strauss and Howe called an Artist or adaptive generation–those who spend their childhoods in periods of great crisis–and he was for decades a critical figure in our national legislature who never became President. The previous analogous generations in our national life were the Compromise generation, born in the last third of the eighteenth century, and the Progressive generation, born from about 1842 to 1862. It is in the Compromise generation, I think, that Kennedy’s closest analogues can be found, specifically Henry Clay of Kentucky and John Quincy Adams from his own Massachusetts.

Continue reading here.

Feel free to add your own thoughts in thread.


Dominick Dunne ’49, RIP

Dominick_DunneDOMINICK DUNNE 1925-2009

We are sad to report the news that Dominick Dunne passed away today, 26th August, at the age of 83 at his home in New York City, after a long and brave battle with cancer. He was with his family at the time.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1925, Dominick Dunne grew up in a large, well-to-do Catholic family of six children. He was the second of six children and always had a passion for dance, theater, and Hollywood films.

Then out of his senior year at school, Dominick was called up for service in World War II, where he distinguished himself during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium by running back towards the approaching Germans to rescue two injured soldiers. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery.

On his return to the United States after the war he moved to New York and studied at Williams College. After graduating Dominick secured a position as floor manager for The Howdy Doody Showand later with Robert Montgomery Presents.

Dominick met and married Ellen Beatriz Griffin, who was known as Lenny. Together they moved from New York to Los Angeles when their first-born, Griffin, was a baby. Dominick rose through the ranks of television, becoming Vice-President of Twentieth Century Fox where produced the hit series, Adventures in Paradise.

He and Lenny spent their time socialising with the Hollywood stars of the time, including Natalie Wood, Michael Caine, Elizabeth Montgomery, Dennis Hopper, Rock Hudson and Mia Farrow. However, Dominick”s newfound success was taking a toll on his family life. He was sliding into a life of alcohol and drugs and was desperate to keep the appearance of the perfect family. His marriage ended in divorce in 1965.

The next decade saw a despondent Dominick fall from grace in Hollywood. The final nail in the coffin of his Hollywood dream was the making of the film Ash Wednesday, starring Elizabeth Taylor. Dominick was no longer welcome in Hollywood.

With his career in tatters, Dominick drove north, not stopping until he blew a car tyre in Oregon. Here he rented a small cottage in the Cascade Mountains and set about trying to reconstruct his life. While in Oregon, he began to write for the first time at the age of 50. He was commissioned to write The Winners, a sequel toThe Users, a novel about the secret life of Hollywood high-flyers. The novel was panned but Dominick was delighted simply to be reviewed by the New York Times. After six months in his Oregon cabin, Dominick resolved to move to New York and begin he new life as a writer. His next novel, The Two Mrs Grenvilles sold more than two million copies and refocused his career permanently toward writing.

However, tragedy struck in November of 1982. Dominick received a telephone call from Lenny, informing him that his only surviving daughter, Dominique, was on life support after an attack by her former boyfriend, John Sweeney. Dominick flew to Los Angeles immediately, but Dominique never regained consciousness. The experience of losing his daughter and the ensuing trial of her killer so enraged Dunne, it directed the course of the rest of his life.

Dunne’s reporting of the trial of Sweeney was his first published piece in Vanity Fair, in the March 1984 issue, and marked the beginning of a relationship between him and the magazine that lasted until his passing. He was both loved and reviled for his personal, chatty journalism style that truly went behind the scenes and reveled in its intimacy. He will be remembered for his coverage of the murder trials of O.J. Simpson, Robert Blake and Claus Von Bulow, among others.

Dominick also wrote several works of fiction, each one rapidly making its way to The New York Times best-seller lists. His last novel, Too Much Money, is due in stores this December.

He is survived by his sons Griffin and Alex Dunne, and his grand daughter, Hannah.

Click here to leave a message.


Vanity Fair‘s Dominick Dunne archive

LA Times obit

Vanity Fair obit

NYTimes obit

AP obit

Tribute from Tina Brown at the Daily Beast

Jane Hitchcock at the Daily Beast

Preview of After the Party, a documentary about Dominick Dunne’s life


Next Page →

Currently browsing posts filed under "In Memoriam"

Follow this category via RSS