news header
Home / News and Events / all current news stories / News Archives / 2012 / 2013 / Speech of Conferral of Honorary Degrees to Charles and Polly Longsworth
 

Speech of Conferral of Honorary Degrees to Charles and Polly Longsworth

Delivered by Sigmund Roos 73F, chair of the board of trustees on May 18, 2013

No one has been more influential in bringing Hampshire College from idea to reality than the two of you. You were not only founders but also, quite literally, creators of this institution. In February 1965, you set out in a snowstorm, looking for land on which to build Hampshire College. You found this place and negotiated the purchase with area farmers, arranging for them to have life tenancy and employment with the new college. You developed both relationships and physical structures that would ensure that the evolving academic landscape remained true to its agrarian roots. Your vision and foresight from almost 50 years ago are manifest in the ground on which we now stand.

Chuck, you were Hampshire College’s first employee and second president. Polly, you have been a full partner in every aspect of this grand endeavor. Together, in the crucial early days, you were instrumental in capturing the public imagination and attracting bold and creative people from across the country to become Hampshire’s first faculty, students, staff, and trustees. Since leaving Hampshire you have both had distinguished careers, Polly as an Emily Dickinson scholar and Chuck as president of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Yet you have never stopped being fully engaged and deeply beloved members of the extended Hampshire family.

The two of you together were instrumental in setting Hampshire College on its path, and you have stayed the course throughout its ongoing process of “successive approximations.” Your lives exemplify Hampshire’s ideals, values, and ethos, and your contributions and achievements are of profound and lasting meaning to all of us and to this institution.

Polly Ormsby Longsworth
Under the Charter granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Hampshire College, I confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

Charles Robert Longsworth
Under the Charter granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Trustees of Hampshire College, I confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto.

SHARE THIS STORY   |   What is this?

 

Contact Us

Office of Communications
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
413.559.5482
Fax 413.559.5720
communications@hampshire.edu
 

© 2014 Hampshire College 893 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 . 413.549.4600