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Payton Memorial Guestbook Entry



As a college president, foundation executive, scholar, and friend, I remember most Bob's leadership of one of Columbia's University's famous University Seminars; he chaired the University Seminar on Philanthropy.  At the time, he was most concerned about the philanthropic response by the general public to a second African famine.  That response was a fraction of the initial one, no less acute or deserving of an outpouring of support than from the first one. He was concerned about how repeated videos of starving children yielded such declining responses from the public at large to human tragedy.  It was characteristic of him to focus on the weaknesses of philanthropy in a continuing life-long effort to strenghten it.  Few people in the field of phlanthropy had such broad experience in furthering it and understanding its enormous potential.  Yet, he recognized and sought to address its many shortcomings.  He embodied a life of public service, enriched those who worked with him by his open mindedness and warmth, and made a difference wherever he served.