Payton Memorial Guestbook Entry

Robert Payton was, and continues to be, a great influence in my work and my life in many ways.  My fondest memories of him were when he was one of our professors for the PhD seminar Ethical, Moral, and Religious Aspects of Philanthropy, and also when he invited all of the PhD students to his home for dinner.  I not only learned a lot from him but he was very encouraging and inspirational. He once told me that he thought I would be entrepreneurial in my approach to philanthropy and at the time I didn't know what that was going to be.  Now I have decided to dedicate my documentary on philanthropy to him.  Without his efforts to establish the Center on Philanthropy, the PhD program, his teaching and mentoring, his book Understanding Philanthropy, which I proudly have a signed copy of, and more I wouldn't be where I am today.  The fact that he is continuing to influence my teaching and study of philanthropy is a testimony to the importance and magnitude of his work and his life.  The other evening in a graduate course I teach on the history and ethics of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector, we discussed the opening chapter in Understanding Philanthropy.  One of my students asked if he still thought that philanthropy was a "tradition in jeapordy."  I delicately explained that he recently passed on but reminded her and the class that he would probably have enjoyed our discussion and encouraged us to help preserve that tradition.  I am forever grateful to him.