By Brendan W. Clark ’21
The Trinity College Public Policy and Law Program is thankful this year for the time spent with alumni/alumnae, students, faculty, and family of the late Professor of Public Policy and Law Ned Cabot on Saturday, November 3rd. The event, co-sponsored by the Public Policy and Law Program and the Office of Alumni Relations, featured many speakers and opportunities for all to reflect on Cabot’s tremendous and indescribable impact on Trinity College during his many years of devoted service.
Opened by Public Policy and Law Program Director Renny Fulco, the event included remarks from Jane Cabot on behalf of the Cabot family, Professor of the Practice in Public Policy and Law Glenn Falk, who succeeded Cabot upon his retirement, Professor of Religion in Public Life Mark Silk, and Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Law Abby Williamson.
Fulco, the Program Director, reflected on the success of the event, remarking that “The gathering in Ned’s honor exceeded my expectations. We were fortunate that so many members of the Cabot family joined the Trinity community in celebrating Ned’s memory and his enduring contributions, as a teacher and colleague, to the Public Policy and Law Program and more broadly to campus life.”
Ethan Cantor ’16, a Public Policy and Law alumnus who was instrumental in planning the memorial event, added that “It was so heartwarming to see many of Professor Cabot’s former students, colleagues, and family members (including grandchildren) all gathered on campus to celebrate the remarkable impact he made at Trinity.”
Sarah Ballinger ’14, also an alumnus, offered her reflection on the event, stating that it “was a beautiful celebration of Professor Cabot’s many accomplishments and an acknowledgement of the lives he forever changed through his friendship, mentorship, and personal investment, including mine. It truly was the perfect forum to bring together those who cared deeply for Ned and to remember his contributions to Trinity community.”
Dean Emeritus J. Ronald Spencer continued the program by discussing Cabot’s unfinished research on the history and evolution of the Republican party. After a brief lunch, Public Policy and Law alumni delivered their own reflections on Professor Cabot and recalled their fondest memories in class.
Cantor and Julia Mardeusz ’16 also provided exciting updates about the Fulco-Cabot Public Policy and Law Fund. The fund was founded in 2013 by a group of Public Policy and Law seniors who sought to provide financial assistance for students pursuing thesis research, independent studies, and internships. In 2016, Public Policy and Law seniors raised over $7,000.00 for the fund in honor of Cabot’s retirement. The Class of 2016 renewed their fundraising drive following Cabot’s passing this spring and raised, from alumni/alumnae, colleagues, and friends, more than $50,000.00. The fund is now endowed and will be used by the Public Policy and Law program to assist current students in the near future.
Fulco, speaking to Cabot’s legacy, stated that “The deeply moving tributes delivered by PBPL alumni and alumnae who attended the event—from as far away as California—testified to Ned’s profound impact on them as students and as young adults. As their eloquent words made clear, he continues to be both an inspiration and their North Star.”
Shaun Stuer ’13, another Public Policy and Law alumnus present, reflected that he “was moved by how many people–across class years and walks of life–were positively impacted by Professor Cabot. His empathy for others and passion for teaching provided so many of my classmates with a clear guidance into their respective careers. As someone who doesn’t get back to campus nearly enough, it reminded me how much I loved my time spent in the Public Policy and Law department while attending Trinity.”
Cantor added that what he “found to be most touching was throughout the event’s speakers, common threads emerged of the Ned that everyone knew and loved: the eloquent writer, the eternal optimist, and the professor and mentor who always pushed his students to reach their full potential, just to name a few highlights. The combination of sharing favorite memories and hearing about the direction of the Public Policy and Law program filled the room with a sense of appreciation and hope that Ned’s most important lessons will live on in all of the lives that he touched and the program that he helped build.”
Following the event, current Public Policy and Law students had an opportunity to engage in networking with alumni/alumnae who were in attendance. Photographs of the memorial event can be viewed below and additional photographs of the networking event can be accessed here.
Shaun Stuer ’13, Sarah Ballinger ’14, and Ethan Cantor ’16 contributed to this article. This article will be updated as The Policy Voice receives additional contributions from alumni/alumnae and faculty.