Philip Sawyer Wilder, Jr. ’45

Philip Sawyer Wilder, Jr. ’45 died on May 27, 2007, in La Jolla, California.

Born on July 24, 1924, in Newton, Mass., he prepared for college at Brunswick High School and the Northwood School at Lake Placid, N.Y., and became a member of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity at Bowdoin. From 1943 to 1946, he served in the U.S.Air Force as a weather officer. Following his graduation as a member of the Class of 1945, he earned his master of arts degree and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. In 1949, he joined the faculty at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., as assistant professor of political science. He served as chair of the department and also of the Division of Social Sciences. He also served as president of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences. He was a member of the Crawfordsville City Council from 1959 to 1963 and a member of the City Planning Commission from 1964 to 1969. In 1968, he left Wabash to become the acting president of the newly-formed California State College in Bakersfield, Calif. There he served on the session of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, was a director of the Child Guidance Clinic, and was a member of the board of the Kern Philharmonic. In 1977, he became president of Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., a position that he held for 15 years. Both he and his wife received honorary doctorate degrees and Presidential Medals of Honor from Hartwick. In Oneonta, he was the campaign director for the United Way and a director for WSKG-TV and the Chamber of Commerce. He was also a trustee and foundation director of A.C. Fox Memorial Hospital and a board member of the Orpheus Theatre. In La Jolla, Calif., he was a member of the La Jolla Congregational Church. In 1983, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Bowdoin, the citation for which said, in part, “You have taught generations of college students by your example that good government demands both understanding and participation. Now, as president of Hartwick College, you have with skill and imagination made higher education an exciting reality for new generations of students.” He was married in 1947 to Barbara Mae Fluker, who died in 2006. Surviving are three daughters, Anne Fulmer of Visalia, Calif.,Trish Collins of Encinitas, Calif., and Nancy Watson of Seattle, Wash; five granddaughters; and a brother, Charles W. Wilder ’50 of Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.