Remembrances of Donald Kagan

Dear Friends,

By now many of you have seen the sad news about the passing of Professor Donald Kagan earlier this month. Much has been written about Professor Kagan as a scholar and teacher who inspired generations of Yale students. Below are links to a number of remembrances.

Professor Kagan provided invaluable help and encouragement to the Buckley Program. I remember showing up in his office hours one day and he agreed to advise our nascent group. His involvement was essential in getting the organization off the ground. I will always be grateful for that.

We were fortunate to have Professor Kagan serve on our board of directors. In challenging moments, such as when activists attempted to pressure us into disinviting Ayaan Hirsi Ali in 2014 or in the aftermath of our conference on free speech which was disrupted in 2015, Professor Kagan offered critical support, wisdom, and resolve.

I highly recommend Professor Kagan’s retirement lecture, which we were honored to host in 2013. Introducing Professor Kagan on that occasion, the late Professor Charles Hill noted: “When you enter Payne Whitney Gymnasium and are confronted by that sculpture of the bulldog, you’re seeing Don Kagan. When you walk through Woolsey Rotunda, that Athenian warrior sculpted into the wall is Kagan. When you look across Old Campus and see Nathan Hale, hands bound behind his back defying the enemies of freedom, that’s Don Kagan. As was said of another American patriot long ago, Don Kagan has been unawed by opinion, unseduced by flattery, undismayed by disaster, and always an inspiring exemplar of antique courage.”

May his memory be a blessing.


Lauren Noble ’11

Founder and Executive Director