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Terrell, Huntington, 1925-2001



Hunt taught philosophy at Colgate from 1952 to 1998. He had graduated in record time from Colgate -- his father and his brother's alma mater -- during wartime 1944, although he had entered with the Class of 1946. In the early years of his long teaching career at Colgate, Hunt taught a variety of courses, including Greek Philosophy and Aesthetics; but there was little doubt for him, or for his many students, that his abiding passion was for the study and practice of ethics and moral philosophy, especially as these related to his pressing concern for the furthering of universal human rights and personal freedoms.

His father was a clergyman (William S. '17, D.Div.'42), and his mother a very active national leader in the community. He majored in philosophy at Colgate, studying with Herman Brautigam and Gene Adams, among others. Graduating magna cum laude, with honors, Hunt then went on to Harvard for his doctorate, with a dissertation focused on the proper standards for making moral judgments: "The Concept of a Moral Judgment"; this concern was to be the continuing commitment of his life as well as of his whole scholarly career.

Hunt served for two years (1944-46) in the Philippines and the Pacific as an enlisted man in the Navy. When the controversies about the war in Vietnam erupted on campus, embroiling the students in debate and affecting their attitudes to military service and the draft, Hunt was in the forefront of those offering thoughtful and prudent counsel. Characteristically, he made himself available to undergraduates and graduates alike -- and especially to those who sought him out for advice as conscientious objectors and moral protesters.

Terrell married Carolyn Nicholson, they had two sons, Bruce and Nathan, and two daughters, Nancy (who died soon after birth) and Cindy.

Terrell passed away in Philadelphia on December 29, 2001.

Adapted from "Huntington Terrell 1925-2001," by Jerome Balmuth, Colgate Scene, March 2002,