1926 - 2020
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HUNT, Richard M. Philanthropist, Harvard Marshal Emeritus Passes at 93 Richard McMasters Hunt died peacefully on April 10th at The Commons in Lincoln, MA. He was 93. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, he graduated from St. Paul's School in Concord, NH in 1944 and Yale University in 1949. During WWII, he served in India with the American Field Service. After receiving an M.A. from Columbia University in 1951, Hunt worked for Free Europe Press (which supplemented the work of Radio Free Europe in New York and in Munich) from 1951 to 1955. He received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard in 1960 and joined the Harvard faculty, holding a number of positions including University Marshal (1982 – 2002), Director of the Mellon Faculty Fellowship Program, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. For many years Hunt taught a Core Curriculum course on Weimar and Nazi Germany and a Social Studies junior tutorial on "Leadership and Followership." As University Marshal, a position that gave him great joy, he was privileged to award many notables honorary degrees, including Nelson Mandela in 1998. Former Harvard President Derek Bok remembers Hunt "as a great gentleman in every sense of the word. He was invariably kind, thoughtful of others, fair and judicious in judgment as well as unfailingly kind and decent in every way." Hunt's academic interests were mirrored outside Harvard by his involvement in such organizations as the American Council on Germany, a New York based non-profit working to strengthen American-German relations, serving as its President for 40 years. Steven Sokol, current President of the American Council on Germany, claims Hunt was "a consummate transatlanticist, passionate about strengthening ties and building trust between Germany and the United States. He will be remembered not least for his tireless efforts to promote mutual understanding, his committed mentoring of future generations of transatlanticists, and his spot-on analysis of the nuances of German politics." Believing it was his responsibility to give back to the world, Hunt was one of the Founding Trustees of the Roy A. Hunt Foundation, named after his father, who served as President of Alcoa for 30 years. As a trustee, he was able to support not only organizations in the Pittsburgh region where he held a deep loyalty, but organizations in the fields of education, the arts, and international relations throughout the world. In 2015, he and his wife, Priscilla, established a fund at The Pittsburgh Foundation, making the largest donation of its kind by a living donor in the foundation's 70-year history. Hunt's belief in the importance of effective philanthropy and the role of research in the field also led him to be a founding board member and vice chair of the National Center for Family Philanthropy. In addition to his many academic and philanthropic pursuits, Hunt maintained a wide variety of interests, in particular opera, magic, and the sport of tennis. He never missed a chance to attend an opera or the theater, and he was a regular attendee of magic conventions around the globe. One of his greatest passions was the game of tennis. A member of the Yale tennis team in the 1940s, he continued to play high-level club tennis for many years and only gave up the sport when his knees became too rickety in his late 80s. In the later years of his devotion to the sport, he liked to play what he referred to as "Cinderella" tennis ("I'm just hoping to make it to the ball!") One of his greatest talents was his ability to engage well with people from all walks of life. His children learned early from him how much more interesting it is to find out about others than it is to speak about oneself. His son Bill wrote: "Our father defined 'Renaissance Man.' He read and studied nearly every conceivable subject from ancient cultures, modern politics, and the strategy of the previous night's Red Sox game. Most importantly, he was always interested in listening to others about their own interests and experiences. Everyone who knew him was dazzled by his unbounded intellectual curiosity." Maxwell King, former President of the Pittsburgh Foundation, remembers him similarly: "Richard Hunt was an exceptional man. The word that comes to mind is: grace. He was an accomplished scholar and teacher, a man devoted to family, and a great benefactor to the Hunt ancestral home of Pittsburgh. But when I think of him, I think of the powerful but gentle grace he brought to conversation." Hunt is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Priscilla Stevenson Hunt, their three children: Dr. Helen Hunt Bouscaren (Joe) of Cambridge, MA, Susan Hunt Hollingsworth (Mark) of Cleveland, OH, and William/Bill Edwards Hunt (Janet) of Pittsburgh, and eight grandchildren: Sophie, Justin, Isaac, Travis, Russell, Eli, Lindsay, and Lily. Visiting Hours: A Memorial Service will be held at a future date. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Council on Germany or The Posse Foundation.

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Published in Boston Globe from Apr. 13 to Apr. 15, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
April 20, 2020
I was so sorry to hear of Rick's passing, and I second "grace" as the word that most quickly comes to mind as I remember him. I first knew him as the dad of the supremely talented, athletic and beautiful Hunt twins, who were in my brother's class at Shady Hill School. Later, I knew him and Priscilla as friends of my dad and stepmother. One of my fondest childhood memories was the weekend the Hunts came to visit us in Dublin NH, and Rick graced us with a magic show. He was always warm, funny, and interested in what others had to say. He and Priscilla embody the most treasured aspects of my Cambridge childhood.
Daphne de Marneffe
April 15, 2020
Rick was someone I liked and admired, a wonderful guy and a real gent.
John Hsia
April 14, 2020
Dr. Hunt was a professor of mine sometime back in the late 1970s, early 80s when I was going for my Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh. In fact, I believe he was on my dissertation committee. He was a dynamic and inspiring teacher and I give him credit for helping to spark my lifelong interest in Nazi Germany, an interest that I continue to pursue as a faculty member at Pitt teaching about the U.S. and the Holocaust.

May Dr. Hunt rest in peace. My husband David joins me in sending our sincere condolences to the family.
April 14, 2020
Barbara Burstin
April 14, 2020
I had the pleasure and honor to have known Rick Hunt for over 30 years. His graciousness, equilibrium, thoughtfulness, kindness, and philanthropic nature are characteristics I admired. He taught much about life when you spoke with him. A gentleman in the very best sense of that word.
Jonathan Schmerling
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