In an email to the Hamilton community on March 29, President David Wippman announced the death of Life Trustee Mary Burke Partridge P’94.

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

Mary Burke Partridge P’94, a life trustee and member of a prominent Hamilton family, died yesterday following an extended illness. She would have celebrated her 79th birthday in less than two weeks.

Mary Burke Partridge P’94
Mary Burke Partridge P’94

I extend my sincere condolences to Missy’s family and many friends. She was an incredibly warm, caring, and compassionate person who was enthusiastically devoted to the employees of the College. For many years, for example, she treated the Admission and Financial Aid office staffs to a fancy dinner to recognize the many hours they spent away from home traveling, in committee, and doing all the important support work necessary to recruit Hamilton’s incoming classes. Initially, Missy sponsored the dinners anonymously; she simply wanted people to know she admired their work and appreciated their roles at the College.

Her grandfather, Daniel Burke, for whom the Burke Library is named, was a member of the Class of 1893 and served as a trustee for more than half a century, including 11 years as chair. Missy’s father, Coleman Burke, a 1934 Hamilton graduate, also served as a Hamilton trustee and board chair, and she had two brothers who attended Hamilton: Dan, a member of the Class of 1961 who died earlier this year, and Coley, a member of the Class of 1963. Missy’s daughter, Caroline ’94, and several other relatives also attended Hamilton.

At the time Missy was ready for College, Hamilton was still an all-male institution, so she enrolled at Vassar, graduating in 1967. She subsequently became director of alumnae affairs at the Kent Place School in Summit, N.J., and served as a trustee for the Clara L.D. Jeffery Trust, which established an endowment at Hamilton to provide stipends for off-campus student internships in the sciences and on-campus faculty-student collaborative research projects in the sciences. First elected a charter trustee in 1994 and then a life trustee in 2010, she supported endowed funds named for her father and grandfather, as well as those recognizing fellow trustees and former presidents Gene Tobin and Joan Hinde Stewart.

Missy and her husband of more than 56 years, David Trott Partridge, are the parents of Caroline Partridge Horner, a member of Hamilton’s Class of 1994, and Sam Partridge.

Revised 3/29/24

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