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College Row

Thomas H. Wyman ’51

Thomas H. Wyman ’51, chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, after a brief illness. He was 73.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate with a major in English, Wyman was a member of Psi Upsilon and an all-American soccer player. He first served Amherst as an alumni trustee from 1976 to 1982, when he became a term trustee. In 1986, he was elected the 15th chair of the Amherst board, a position he held until May 1992.

Wyman led several large companies during a long and distinguished career. Chairman and CEO at CBS from 1980 to 1986, while the network was at its peak, he began his career at Nestle, then served as senior vice president and general manager of the Polaroid Corporation, where he also was chair of the management committee. In 1975 he was named president and CEO of the Green Giant Company. Four years later Wyman was named vice chairman of Pillsbury when that company acquired Green Giant.

Wyman recently captured national attention when he resigned his membership at the Augusta National Golf Club, where the Masters Tournament is held, to protest the club’s policy prohibiting women members.

“Tom Wyman was a giant of his generation, and he has left an indelible impression on his college,” said Board Chair Amos Hostetter, Jr. ’58. “His most lasting impacts were the result of his finely tuned moral compass. At Polaroid, he artfully guided policies on the allowable uses of that company’s identification products in South Africa. He was an outspoken advocate of civil rights and public education in the Boston community when few business leaders were willing to be engaged. On the Amherst board, he was a moving force in important decisions, including the abolition of fraternities—not a popular decision at the time, but the morally right decision. Tom Wyman set high standards in everything he did,” Hostetter added. “He will be sorely missed, and we are proud to claim him as one of our own.”

Wyman is survived by his wife, The Rev. Dr. Deborah “Debbie” Little; four children, Peter H. Wyman, Michael B. Wyman, Thomas H. Wyman, Jr. ’84 and Lisa B. Wyman; three sisters; and several grandchildren. He was predeceased by Elizabeth Minnerly Wyman, who died in January 2002.

A more detailed remembrance is included in the In Memory section of Alumni Online Services (log-in required).

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