March 25, 2004

Obituaries

Robert S. Hatfield, Class of 1937, died March 14 in Greenwich, Conn., where he had lived for many years. He was 88.

A longtime supporter and benefactor of the university, Hatfield served as a member of the Cornell Board of Trustees from 1974 to 1984, after which he was made an emeritus member. Additionally, he served as a member of the Board of Overseers at Weill Cornell Medical College from 1980 to 1982, and as president of the Board of Governors for New York Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center from 1981 to 1987, after which he assumed the title of life governor and honorary chairman of the board.

Hatfield served as chairman of the board and chief operating officer of Continental Group Inc. from 1971 until his retirement in January 1981.

He started his career in 1936 with the company, then known as Continental Can. He moved up through the firm and was named senior executive vice president and chief operating officer in 1968, before being promoted to the top slot.

The Hatfield Fund for Economic Education was established at Cornell in 1981 by the Continental Group Foundation to honor the retiring Hatfield, who also was Cornell's first Hatfield speaker that year. Since then, corporate leaders are invited yearly to come to campus, deliver a public lecture of significance and meet with faculty and students as Robert S. Hatfield Fellows. The award is considered the highest honor Cornell bestows on outstanding individuals from the corporate sector.

Hatfield also was a retired director of Citicorp/Citibank, Eastman Kodak Co., Johnson & Johnson, General Motors Corp., Marsh and McLennan Companies Inc., Nabisco Brands Inc. and the New York Stock Exchange.

In addition, he was a member of the Business Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as chairman of the board and CEO of the National Executive Service Corps from 1988 to 1995 and continued to serve on the NESC's board of directors.

He was a director and former chairman of the International Executive Service Corps. He was an honorary member of the board of the Committee for Economic Development and a member of the Business Round Table.

Following his graduation from Cornell, Hatfield attended and graduated from Fordham Law School in 1945 and enrolled in the Advanced Management Program of Harvard Business School in 1954.

He is survived by his wife Roberta Sullivan Hatfield of Greenwich; a son, Robert Hatfield; three daughters, Roberta Williamson, Suzanne Hatfield, and Molly DuPree; and a brother, John Hatfield. His grandson and namesake, Robert S. Hatfield III, is a senior in Cornell's College of Arts and Sciences.

A family service for Hatfield was held at the Round Hill Community Church in Greenwich. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Robert S. Hatfield Scholarship Fund at Cornell, c/o Inge Reichenbach, Vice President of Alumni Affairs and Development, 303 Day Hall, Ithaca, N.Y. 14853.


 

Jansen Noyes Jr., Class of 1939 (mechanical engineering) and 11th chairman of the Cornell Board of Trustees, died March 16 in Darien, Conn. He was 86.

The third in a line of five generations of Cornellians dating from 1876 to 2004, Noyes was a passionate and enduring supporter of the university throughout his life. He was elected to the board of trustees in 1961 and served as vice chairman in 1968-78 and as chairman from 1978 until 1984. He then became an emeritus trustee and in 1985 was appointed a presidential councillor, the highest honor the university confers on its alumni. Noyes was honored by Cornell for his leadership in fund-raising campaigns at the university and for his service on the Board of Overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College. He also was a sustaining member of Psi Upsilon fraternity at Cornell.

Noyes attended Harvard Business School in 1940-41 then served as a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy in World War II, seeing active duty aboard cruisers and destroyers on the perilous Murmansk supply run to the Russian front.

In 1939 Noyes began his financial career at the firm founded by his father, Hemphill, Noyes & Co., becoming a partner in 1946. He was named chairman of Hornblower, Weeks, Hemphill, Noyes & Co. in 1968. In 1975, he became senior managing director of Loeb Rhoades Hornblower.

He was a founding partner of Noyes Partners Inc. in 1980 and was its president until 2003. He also was chairman of Douglas, Noyes & Co. Inc. and a director of Berkery, Noyes & Co.

Among his many passions was his commitment to eradicating preventable blindness. Starting in 1946, Noyes worked with Helen Keller (as her personal trustee) and served as director of Helen Keller International from 1946 until 1996. He also served as the organization's president in 1958-70 and chairman of the board of Helen Keller International in 1970-92.

In addition, Noyes served as president and trustee of the American Foundation for the Blind, president and director of the American Foundation for Overseas Blind, chairman of the board of the National Industries for the Blind and a trustee of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness.

A memorial service celebrating Noyes' life will be held Saturday, March 27, at 11 a.m. at St. Luke's Church, 1864 Post Road, Darien, Conn. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Jansen Noyes Jr. and Jansen Noyes III Scholarship Fund, attention: Laurie Robinson, Director of Development, Cornell University, 55 Brown Road, Ithaca, N.Y. 14850.