On Saturday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. in Pruyne Auditorium (Fayerweather 115), Amherst College honored the life and career of one of America’s most important historians and teachers with a symposium on “Henry Steele Commager: Celebrating One of Amherst’s Legends.” Featuring prominent historians, lawyers and others who knew Commager well, the event marks the end of a year-long special project by the Amherst College Library’s Archives and Special Collections to arrange and describe Commager’s papers, making them available for the public.

audio Hear a full audio recording (MP3 format) of the Commager Symposium

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The Oct. 27 Amherst College symposium featured:

  • William Alford ’70, the Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, vice dean for the graduate program and international legal studies, and director of East Asian legal studies at Harvard University. He will give an intellectual portrait of Commager.
  • Hugh Hawkins, the Anson D. Morse Professor of History and American Studies, Emeritus at Amherst College. He will discuss Commager as colleague.
  • Robert W. Hawkins ’71, a partner at the Washington, D.C. office of Hunton & Williams and a specialist in international commercial arbitration. He will reflect on Commager as mentor.
  • Milton Cantor, professor of history emeritus at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He will discuss Commager and McCarthyism.
  • Mary Powlesland Commager, Latin American historian and Commager’s widow.