It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of H. Hamilton (“Ham”) Chase.
Ham’s passion for Tri-Kap began during his undergraduate years as he was an active member of the brotherhood. After graduation he settled in Keene, New Hampshire and continued his active involvement with the College. He was often seen on the campus attending alumni functions. He rarely missed a home hockey game. While in town, he often found time to stop by Tri-Kap to visit with the brothers. He shared stories of his beloved Class of ’47 and always showed a deep concern for the welfare of the House.
Ham was President of the Tri-Kap Alumni Board of Directors for many years. He would make the trip from Keene (often several times a week) and whenever necessary to attend meetings, initiate new members, or just hang out. He seemed to revel in the company of the brothers in the place many of us call “home at Dartmouth”.
When I joined the Board in 2003, he welcomed me with his typical charm - making sure I felt comfortable with the group. He looked out not only for the short-term happenings in the fraternity, but also for the long-term needs. He started the idea of a capital campaign to address the deterioration of our, then, 85 year lodge building. Ham was all for anything that would make the brotherhood stronger. He truly worked for every project, for the welfare of Tri-Kappa, for promoting its ideals, for upholding its fair name.
When he stepped down from the Board, the undergraduates wrote and signed a letter thanking Ham for his service. Alumni and undergraduates alike wrote articles in “The Pillar” celebrating his service. Francisco Ayala '02 painted a wonderful portrait of Ham (pictured above), which hangs on the walls of the GOTE room today. Even after he stepped down from the Board, Ham continued to demonstrate an interest in the brothers and the welfare of the fraternity. For 70 years, Ham served the fraternity as a brother, alumnus, advisor, and President of the Board. He taught and embodied the Dartmouth “work hard, play hard” ethic.
|Tri-Kap Board Members and Undergraduates at Ham's Funeral|
I, along with Terry Lowd ’66, Steve Larmon ’74, Matt Graves '14, Anka Tezcan '15, Brian White '15, Robbie Bhattacharjee '15, and Josh Schoenbart '16 (pictured above) attended the services for Ham at United Church of Christ, Central Square in Keene, NH on Saturday, Nov 8th. Ham’s wife Dot and most of his 6 children and 19 grandchildren were in attendance. We were all proud to sing the Tri-Kap Marching Song in his honor. I saw several of Ham’s children smiling while we sang. Ham’s daughter Carol Craig told me afterward that some of Ham’s classmates (Frank Weber '47, Bill Hallager '47, John Trethaway '47 and Fred Sistare '47) were within the vicinity of where we were singing and were thrilled.
A great son of Kappa has passed from the near ship to the ship in the distance – blazing the path before us. His leadership of the Board of Directors during a critical period in the House’s life was instrumental in keeping Tri-Kap the strong institution that it continues to be today. His presence and leadership were exemplary. Tri-Kap is a better place, as is Dartmouth College, for his devotion and dedicated leadership. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts on behalf of the fraternity.
Yours in Kappa,
James McKim '83