The late A. Bartlett Giamatti once said of his predecessor as Yale president: "Kingman Brewster was the greatest university president of his time, probably one of the greatest presidents that ever lived. He was a man of extraordinary intelligence and courage who had a profound effect not just on Yale but on all the institutions of higher education in this country. He had the courage to live these values during a very trying time. And with that he led the nation."
This description of Kingman Brewster (1919-89) is among the observations by Brewster's friends and colleagues that are featured in "Remembrances," a book about Yale's 17th president recently published by the Office of the Secretary.
The book includes recollections of Brewster from many of the individuals who knew him at the various stages of his life -- from his years as a Yale undergraduate 1937-41 to his terms as Yale president 1963-77, ambassador to the Court of St. James 1977-81 and master of University College at Oxford University 1984-86.
Contributors to the book include the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, former Harvard University president Derek Bok and former New Haven Mayor Richard C. Lee, among other notable government and academic leaders. "Remembrances" also includes selections by many current and former members of the Yale community, including Yale presidents Benno C. Schmidt and Hanna Holborn Gray; professors Kai
Erickson, John Hersey, William Sloane Coffin Jr. and Georges May; and alumni Cyrus Vance '39 B.A.,
'42 LL.B. and William S. Beinecke '36 B.A., among others. The book even features a cartoon by alumnus Gary Trudeau '70 B.A., showing Brewster as the character "President King."
The centerpiece of "Remembrances" is an essay by Stanley Flink '45W which recounts the highlights of
Brewster's career. Flink, who was director of the Yale News Bureau during Brewster's presidency, also served as editor of the book, which was designed by retired University printer Greer Allen and includes research contributions by Yale librarians Judith Schiff and Mark Bailey.
"Remembrances" also includes an excerpt from an uncompleted book by Brewster, as well as selections from his annual reports and speeches.
The book is on sale for $20 per copy at the Yale Bookstore on Broadway, the Foundry Bookstore on Whitney Avenue, and the Secretary's Office in Woodbridge Hall, 105 Wall St. Discounts on orders of five or more copies
are available through the Secretary's Office. For information, call 432-1092.