Alumni Review – Spring-Summer 2014


Brian Greenwood Donovan ’61

Brian Greenwood Donovan ’61, who taught English at the University of Minnesota, was born on Sept. 22, 1939, in Rochester, N.Y. A son of Austin J. Donovan, a referee in bankruptcy, and the former Edna V. Greutker, a high school teacher, Brian Donovan grew up in Rochester, where he was graduated from John Marshall High School. He came to College Hill in 1957, joined Tau Kappa Epsilon, contributed to The Spectator and was a member of the Newman Club. A participant in the College’s Junior Year in France program, he took courses at the Sorbonne. A lifelong film buff (in his application to Hamilton, he described himself as a “student of the cinema”), he gained a reputation on the Hill for his impressive knowledge of motion pictures as well as his “wit and grace of observation” as reflected in his writing. Having majored in English literature, he received his A.B. degree in 1961.

Brian Donovan acquired an M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and later a Ph.D. in English from the University of Minnesota. The College has no information about his subsequent activities except that he had reportedly resided in an apartment near the University in Minnesota in Minneapolis since the early 1960s. A brief obituary that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune described him as “an English professor, film aficionado, and gifted raconteur.”

Brian G. Donovan died on Nov. 20, 2013, of complications following a heart attack. He is survived by a brother, Richard Donovan.
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Harry Glendon Ellefson ’64

Harry Glendon Ellefson ’64, an international banker who specialized in the Brazilian economy, was born on Nov. 24, 1941, in Syracuse, N.Y. The son of Harry G. Ellefson, a sales service manager for Bristol Laboratories, and the former Ethel M. Zimmerman, he grew up in the Syracuse suburb of Fayetteville and was graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School in 1959. Glenn Ellefson came to Hamilton that fall as “a naive kid from Fayetteville” and joined Delta Phi. After his sophomore year, however, he took a leave of absence for financial reasons. He returned to the Hill a year later, having earned enough money to resume his studies.

By the time of his graduation as a Spanish major in 1964, Glenn Ellefson, the “naive kid” had become “a seasonal extrovert,” remembered as the founding father of the “Delta Raiders” and the social chairman of DPhi who had spent the entire semester’s social budget on the house’s first houseparty, which turned out to be quite a memorable event. In addition, he assisted the “Scoreless Wonders” in many of their near wins in intramurals.

Glenn Ellefson entered the world of banking with Irving Trust Co. in New York City. An M.B.A. degree from New York University, acquired in 1969, opened the opportunity for assignments in South America. He eventually landed in Rio de Janeiro when Irving opened an office there. Later he joined a Brazilian bank, Banco Nacional, which was planning to open a branch in New York City, and he was with that bank in Manhattan for a time. Back in Brazil, he became general manager of foreign relations for the bank and enjoyed success as its English-language expert.

By the mid-1980s, worsening economic conditions in Brazil prompted Glenn Ellefson to look for other avenues to express his talents. He turned to acting and achieved some local notoriety in Rio as a part-time actor in a night-time TV soap opera, and he also was a stand-in for Richard Dreyfuss in the film Moon Over Parador. In addition, he worked as a freelance translator, primarily of financial and legal material. Several years ago, Glenn Ellefson returned to the States and he settled with his wife, Suzanne, in Florida. Over the years, he kept in contact with many of his Hamilton friends who will greatly miss him.

H. Glendon Ellefson died on Dec. 24, 2013, in Delray Beach, Fla. He is survived by his wife and a daughter, Cheryl, from a previous marriage, as well as three grandchildren, a great-grandson and a sister. He was predeceased by another daughter, Terri.
— information contributed by Bruno Puetzer ’63 with our thanks
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Thomas Patrick Guerin, Jr. ’64

Thomas Patrick Guerin, Jr. ’64, an international banker and authority on construction finance who became a private consultant, was born on March 19, 1942, in Los Angeles. His parents were Thomas P. and Anne Jubitz Guerin, and he grew up in Portland, Ore., where his father, a maritime administrator, was general manager of the Portland Public Docks. Pat Guerin prepared for college at Beaverton High School in Oregon and, determined to pursue his education in the Northeast, came to Hamilton in 1960. Extremely active in his fraternity, Gryphon, while on the Hill, he served as its house steward for three years, seeing that its members ate well and stayed more or less dry, despite a leaky roof.

Following his graduation as a geology major in 1964, Pat Guerin returned to his home state, where, in 1966, he earned an M.B.A. in international trade and finance from the University of Oregon. He began his banking career with the First National City Bank of New York and was assigned to its branch in Taipei, Taiwan. Transferred to the bank’s Tokyo, Japan, branch in 1969, he was subsequently posted, in 1971, to its Seoul, Korea, branch as an assistant manager. He was back in New York City managing Citibank’s Japan-Korea desk when, on Dec. 9, 1972, he and Elizabeth “Betty” Adams were married.

Pat Guerin was thereafter again sent by Citibank to Asia, this time as managing director of its new affiliate, Rakyat First Merchant Bankers, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was followed by a stint with Citicorp International Group in New York City. By that time he had become a specialist in construction finance, and his last posting for Citibank was as its section head of “Contractors West” in San Francisco.

Pat Guerin left Citibank after 15 years in 1981 to join Bank of America as a vice president and head of its New York-based Construction Group. He was responsible for managing the bank’s involvement in construction, engineering and related industries throughout the eastern U.S. He remained with Bank of America until 1986, when he joined BAII Banking Corp., also in New York City, as supervisor of construction project finance. He was senior vice president and chief credit officer of that American arm of a French bank, BPA, when the branch ceased operations in 1991. He then spent several years winding it down while it was awaiting a buyer. By the mid-1990s he had started his own one-man firm, Guerin Consulting, and continued to travel extensively in both Asia and Europe in connection with it.

Pat Guerin, a former director of the New York chapter of the Construction Financial Managers Association, was a past president of the University Club of Larchmont, N.Y., where he had long resided. An enthusiastic sailor, he was also a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club. In addition, he raised Labrador retrievers and at one time had as many as 10 of them.

An ardently devoted alumnus, Pat Guerin was generously supportive of Hamilton in numerous ways. He assisted in fundraising as well as student recruitment, and in 2003 he and his wife, Betty, were the joint recipients of the College Key Award for their outstanding leadership in Westchester County of Hamilton’s Worldwide Admission Volunteer Effort (WAVE).

Thomas P. Guerin, Jr. was still residing in Larchmont when he died on Jan. 11, 2014. In addition to his wife of 41 years, he is survived by his daughter, Anne J. Guerin ‘01.
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Willard MacKenzie Soper ’64

Willard MacKenzie Soper ’64, a retired Congregational minister, was born on June 3, 1942, in Sidney, N.Y. A son of Willard B. Soper ‘36, also a minister, and the former Margaret MacKenzie, he was a grandson of Willard P. Soper, Class of 1904, and a nephew of C. Kenneth Soper ‘39. Numerous other family members had attended Hamilton as well. Young Willard Soper, known as “Bill,” came to the Hill in 1960 from Naugatuck, Conn., following his graduation from Naugatuck High School. He remained on the Hill for only a semester. He was later admitted to Olivet College in Michigan, where he received his B.A. degree in 1965, having majored in history and English.

In 1968, Bill Soper earned his Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary. He subsequently served as assistant and later senior minister of First United Church of Christ Congregational, in Milford, Conn., and remained there for 27 years until his retirement.

After retiring, Bill Soper moved to Atlanta, where he became a career consultant. He was the assistant residents coordinator for Canterbury Court, a retirement community in Atlanta, at the time of his death.

The Rev. Willard M. Soper’s death on June 10, 2009, while hospitalized in Roswell, Ga., has only recently been verified by the College. In addition to his mother, he was survived by his wife, Nancy Moore Soper, whom he had married in 1970. Also surviving were two daughters, Elizabeth Coffin and Katherine Abrahamson, three grandchildren, and a brother.
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