Deceased July 25, 2001

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In Memory

Glenn Kesselhaut passed away on July 25, 2001, after a courageous, five-month battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Rachel, and their three children, Jeremy, Matt and Ben. Here is an excerpt from the eulogy David Moore ’78 gave at Glenn’s funeral.

“I have the honor of calling Glenn a ‘best friend.’ We shared the ‘firsts’ of freshman orientation, fraternity rush and maternity wards. We roasted each other at our bachelor parties and dozens of birthdays. We shared dorm rooms, graduate school housing and our first apartment. We were co-editor’s-in-chief of The Student and best men in each other’s weddings. 

“Perspective was one of Glenn’s greatest gifts. He had a legendary ability to remain calm in the most tumultuous situations. Glenn’s freshman year roommate told me, ‘Glenn’s easy-going, calm demeanor was accompanied by a keen intellect and a strong sense of purpose. I remember late one night freshman year when the dorm’s need to blow off some steam developed into complete pandemonium. While water fights with fire extinguishers ensued, music blared and alarms went off, Glenn sat serenely at his typewriter composing an English lit paper. When the melee subsided, I was curious to read what Glenn could possibly have written under these circumstances. It was brilliant, and of course he got an ‘A.’

“I think this calm, reasoned, thoughtful approach to problems came because Glenn was such a great reader and so knowledgeable about so much. His brilliant mind would retain facts and figures and would connect the most disparate information. You could mention a particular event or subject, and Glenn would invariably have read an article or a book about that very subject last week.  

“On one of my last visits with Glenn, I brought him an article that provided a sociological analysis about how our generation is raising our children. Sitting in his den, he glanced at the article, then leaned over to a pile of books, pulled one from the bottom and said, ‘If you like that article, here’s a book by the same author that you’ll really enjoy.’ I came to visit Glenn, and I left with a gift. It was always like that.

“We both entered Amherst in 1974. He was Phi Beta Kappa, graduating summa cum laude in English. We were co-editors-in-chief of The Student, but he wrote most of the editorials. We were both Amherst’s finalists for the Watson Fellowship, and I don’t think I need to tell you who won. He went to Harvard Law School, clerked for a U.S. district judge and became a partner in one of New York’s most important law firms. He loved the law and he loved Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. He has done remarkably complicated work on several continents and lent his creativity to important pro bono work as well. The best part about being his friend, though, was that he was far more interested—and proud—of my achievements than his own. He was that way with everyone.  

“Glenn loved Amherst. He loved bringing his three boys to campus. He loved reading about Amherst’s history and about successful current alums. He found Amherst paraphernalia on eBay. He loved Amherst traditions, Amherst songs, Amherst ties and Amherst stories. He loved to remind people that the ‘H’ is silent. He read the Amherst College newspaper. He never missed a reunion. He was a generous donor to the College of his time and his money. He was a hands-on fundraiser, and he especially loved calling for Amherst at the annual telethon because of the conversations he could have with random classmates. We met there every year for the last 16 years. 

“So what would Glenn’s perspective be on all this? He told friends over the last few months to just realize that one day everything can just change. Your world can turn upside down. Or, it can just stop altogether. So don’t wait for ‘next time.’ Treasure the moment. That was Glenn’s perspective. So I think we should all hug our kids and those we love.”

A number of Amherst friends attended Glenn’s service. Among them were Bruce Angiolillo ’74, Steve Dolmatch ’78, Gregg Lerner ’78, Doug Hendel ’78, Paul Wolansky ’78, David Friend ’77, Scott Herrin ’77, Jeff Gruskay ’77, Harlan Levy ’77, Eric Statman ’78, Greg Kiernan ’79, John Lobrano ’79, Jeff Schneider ’79 and Bruce Becker '80.

David Moore ’78