William H. Hazen '52 didn't leave Bowdoin behind when he left campus in 1952. Rather, the College became an integral part of the lives of Bill, his wife Judy, and their family for the next fifty years. Until his death in 2001 at the age of seventy, Bill opened his heart, mind and home to the College and its people.
After majoring in economics at Bowdoin, Bill departed for the rigors of Harvard Law School. During the Korean War, he served with the U.S. Seventh Fleet as a naval officer. Bill later joined the investment firm of J. & W. Seligman & Co. in New York, eventually serving as a managing director of the firm. Bill's leadership roles extended to a wide variety of civic and community organizations, including his Brooklyn Heights church, Trout Unlimited, a national conservation organization, and the Anglers Club of New York.
Bill was always particularly loyal to Bowdoin, however, and grateful for the opportunities Bowdoin made available to him. He received ample scholarship support from the College, and he repaid it generously in many ways. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1981-2001 (including a term as President of the Board of Overseers), as President of the Bowdoin Club of New York, and as a member of the Alumni Council. He served as national chair of the Campaign for Bowdoin from 1984 to 1989, and received the Alumni Service Award in 1991.
Just as importantly, Bill and Judy made Bowdoin people part of their lives. Bill was a consummate host, and always made a Bowdoin person feel welcome in his home or city. Judy recalls hosting a large Bowdoin Glee Club crowd in their tiny Greenwich Village apartment soon after their marriage. In Judy's words, "his commitment to Bowdoin was powerful in every possible way."
Bill first made this commitment tangible by establishing a scholarship fund in his name in 1973. Since his Bowdoin education was made possible by financial aid, Bill understood and advocated for the importance of scholarships. In addition, he and Judy considered Bowdoin's needs when making estate planning decisions. To this end, Bill designated a generous portion of his individual retirement plan benefits to the College. This gift was received by the College after his death and is being used to support the William H. Hazen Scholarship Fund.
Bill Hazen enjoyed many things: his family, work, neighborhood, fly fishing, and college. Bill never got over his Bowdoin experience. And for this, the College and its people are grateful.