Saturday, January 12, 2008

Harry Payne

I was beyond shocked to see the news last night about former Hamilton president Harry Payne's suicide. (The Hamilton site has this release.)

The Yahoo article quotes the prep school's board chair remarking on Payne's apparently controversial tenure at Williams College, adding:
He really wanted to get out of small towns like Williamstown and Clinton and Hamilton, New York.
To which all I can really respond is "Bite me, cracker." OK, maybe that's a bit reflexive. On the other hand, it is what I thought hours ago when I first saw the quote and I have not changed my mind. Bite me, cracker.

Any Purple Cows care to weigh in on Payne's time at Williams? Does anyone actually know any Williams graduates?


Anonymous said...

I just received an alumi email from Williams and am shocked by Payne's suicide. I overlapped with his presidency by two years and have to say the Science Center he pushed for and had built by my senior year is one of my favorite things about Williams.

Dave S. said...

Thanks for the input. Do you know anything about the theater controversy? It must have been something if it got both town and gown against him.

Anonymous said...

i graduated from hamilton college in 1990 and knew hank pretty well. he got thrown out of hamilton for plagerism. very nice guy, very easy to talk to and seemed a bit shy. i never would have thought he would kill himself.

Dave S. said...

I thought Gene Tobin got bounced/bounced himself for self-plagiarism. I don't remember Payne getting into the same trouble but at that point most of the Hamilton news I got came from the Alumni Review, which, while definitely in the spin zone, would not have completely suppressed something like that, based on my experience working for its editor.

However, I am always happy to be corrected on the facts.

evanphoto said...

you're right, i think tobin got bounced, sorry about that. we went through a bunch of presidents. caravanu, payne, tobin, and now this horrible feminist chick

Anonymous said...

"chick" about a grown woman?

You reveal yourself as ignorant and immature. Surely not ready for a degree from an institution as widely respected as Hamilton.

Dave S. said...

I know of no commencement exercises where the graduates are asked if they are ready to receive their degree. Who, truly, can say? At any rate, I suspect Hamilton is no better or worse than any other institution when it comes to unleashing the ignorant and immature on a more-or-less unsuspecting populace.

Caveat emptor, cave canem, et semper ubi sub ubi.