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Payton Memorial Guestbook Entry
I first encounted professor Payton at a student orientation event in 1998. He conducted an exercise that exquisitely elicited the ideas of the new students of philanthropy sitting around the table, and that launched a fascinating discussion. Afterward, I asked Melissa Grider how to sign up for a class with him, but was told that, alas, he now only ran a seminar for the Jane Addams Fellows. Despite not being able to take a class with professor Payton, I did experience the privilege of regular, informal interactions with him over coffee. There, we talked at length at the value of the liberal arts to Philanthropic Studies; a perspective that has fundamentally informed my subsequent research on philanthropy.
My fondest memories of professor Payton come from the Voluntas Symposium I attended with him in Prague in 1999, held in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Velvet Revolution. Professor Payton was held in obviously high regard by all the international scholars gathered at this Symposium. He both gave the keynote address for the Symposium, and was presented with an award that recognised his life-long contribution to research and teaching in the field of philanthropy. I admit to basking in his glow, as a student of the Center he did so much to create.
I'm also happy to report that, after I enlisted to be part of the first cohort of the Center On Philanthropy's doctoral program (the Mercury 7!), professor Payton co-taught our course on the Ethics and Values of Philanthropy, so I finally got to experience him as a professor after all.