Dr. Robert Marston Porter ’37

Dr. Robert Marston Porter ’37 died on January 14, 2009, at his home in Oneonta, New York.

He was born on August 1, 1915, in North Anson, Maine, son of the late Gould Porter (Class of 1891). He prepared for college at Anson Academy and Hebron Academy and graduated from Bowdoin cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He was a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and captain of the track team, the best one-mile runner in New England at the time. He studied public administration at American University for one year and then earned a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1941 and a doctorate in education from Temple University in 1955. He spent a sabbatical semester in 1965 studying education at Oxford University in England. He served as a first lieutenant in the Army’s Military Intelligence Service during World War II and was recalled into service during the Korean War from 1950 to 1952.

He taught at Germantown Academy in Philadelphia for eight years, and then moved to Oneonta, where he was a professor of education at the State University of New York at Oneonta for 30 years, retiring in 1985. At Oneonta, he organized the Saturday seminars in chemistry, computers, and psychology, which high school students took voluntarily; in 1983, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. He served as secretary and then vice president of National Association for Gifted Children in the late 1960s and authored the book, A Decade of Seminars for the Able & Ambitious. He was director of the Kiwanis Club of Oneonta for three years and served as a trustee of Anson Academy for 29 years. He was a deacon of the Congregational Church of North Anson and an elder of First Presbyterian Church of Oneonta. He was an avid traveler and collector of stories from the people he met abroad. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary C. Walker Porter, whom he married in 1955, and daughter Mary (Molly) Finley-Porter Bennett.