J. Hodge Markgraf, Class of 1952

It would take a scientist, like you, to compute the enormous odds of a college finding within its own faculty someone with the many skills needed to manage, and manage so effectively, an operation as complex and as important as the one you have overseen for the past nine years here at Williams. Your service to the College began while you were an undergraduate and won you the William Bradford Turner Citizenship Prize. Your contributions as teacher and scholar began in 1959 when you joined the chemistry department, which you later chaired. Your first taste of administration came with your term as an appropriately penny-pinching provost. Few can match your record of service on College committees, including the Committee on Appointments and Promotions, the Presidential Search Committee of 1973, and as secretary of the history-making Angevine Committee. This rich experience prepared you splendidly for your new responsibilities as vice president for alumni relations and development as the College began planning its Bicentennial celebration and Third Century Campaign. Both were crucial to the health of the College and both met dramatic success—in large part because of your intelligent, energetic, and dedicated leadership. As notable as the success, however, has been the style of your contribution. You have permanently changed the gentle language of capital campaigning with your artful use of military metaphor, such as “providing aerial cover” for the development staff, or, in a moment of perhaps excess enthusiasm near the end of the campaign, speaking of going out to “kneecap” a donor. But despite having stormed many beachheads and having changed planes at O’Hare more often than anyone should have to, you repeatedly showed up, across the country and beyond, with your tie bowed, your wit sharp, and your love of Williams absolutely transparent. As you return now to the chemistry department your alma mater takes this occasion to thank you for a job extremely well done. In recognition of your distinguished achievement in academic and administrative leadership, Williams College is proud to present you with its Bicentennial Medal.