Deceased August 31, 1983

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In Memory

Tim Colvin came to Amherst, a graduate of the Shattuck School in Faribault Minnesota.  As an undergraduate, Tim majored in English, was a member, choragus, and treasurer of Beta Theta Pi, sang in the DQ, and appeared in Masquers productions—most memorably as Harry Hotspur in Shakespeare’s Henry IV part 1 and as Orestes in Aeschylus’ The Libation Bearers.  As an alumnus, he was for several years an active member of the College’s Alumni Committee on Publications and Communications, serving ultimately as its chairman.

Upon graduation from Amherst, Tim worked as a copywriter and later account representative for a number of large advertising agencies including J. Walter Thompson, Tatham-Laird & Kudner, and N.W. Ayer. He started at J. Walter Thompson in the fall of 1961 at the same time Paul Obre began working there.  The following spring, Paul reported that Tim would soon be leaving the firm “for a six-month ‘vacation’ with the Marine Corps.”


Tim fashioned his career as a specialist in technical and industrial trade advertising.  Clients over the years included Ford, Goodyear, Texaco, DuPont, World Book Encyclopedia, Sulzer, and most recently, companies in the computer field.  He was president of his own firm, Tim Colvin, Inc. at the time that he died, in New York City, August 31, 1983, after a sudden illness.


From his college days on, Tim never failed to delight his classmates and others with his exuberant personality and humor.  There was always a new joke in his repertoire, and he was also a marvelous mimic (those who heard it will particularly never forget his gravelly imitation of Nelson Rockefeller..)  Joe Richardson remembers visiting Tim and his girl friend in 1977 once or twice at a house in Quogue on Long Island and doing some surf-fishing there.  “He was fun to be with.”

Tim’s love of poetry, developed at Amherst where he was a Robert Frost devotee, was later reflected in humorous and satirical poems, some of which were  published in New York newspapers and read on CBS radio.  His brother Stephen provided one of  Tim’s unpublished poems to Amherst Alumni News, saying, “if you can use it, please be assured it is with the author’s permission.”


Midnight Cheer

A splendid bar.
And from afar,
A fine cigar.

 Scottish fish.
A Chinese dish!
The rice from Mich.
And veal “delish.”

 Midnight cheer.
Balloons appear!
The cab is near.
Friends, dear.