Ralph E. Hansmann ’40
2008 Bell Ringer Award
It may be debated whether love or money makes the world go around, but one thing is certain: Hamilton has derived great benefit from both. The devotion of its alumni has inspired their generous financial support, and thanks to wise counsel and prudent management, the College has an endowment that continues to grow, making it possible to provide the academic programs and physical facilities, as well as a first-rate faculty, that assure its competitive position among the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.
While many have contributed to Hamilton’s prosperity in ways large and small, no one has so uniquely combined devotion to the College with dedication to its financial well-being more than you. As a private professional investment manager since the time you left the Navy at the end of World War II, you have become intimately acquainted with the peculiar and at times treacherous ways of the financial market. In 1969 you began sharing your experience and insight with Hamilton’s board as a charter trustee. Soon you took over the chairmanship of the board’s investment committee, and under your 16-year stewardship, combining astute decision-making with constant monitoring, the endowment more than quintupled.
As a life trustee since 1988, you have continued to take a keen interest in the College and its fortunes, for after all, you had been in many ways the chief investor in its future. The financial foundation you laid has of course been sturdily built up in the ensuing years, but the strength of the edifice that Hamilton is today rests upon the firm footing that you provided.
Ralph E. Hansmann, for your selfless service to your alma mater in assuring Hamilton the financial health necessary to carry out its educational mission, the Alumni Association takes great pleasure in presenting you with the Bell Ringer Award.
Citation presented by
Mark Rice ’73, P’01,’06
President, Alumni Association
June 7, 2008