January 20, 2013

Gregory Alexander Drummond '51

Gregory Alexander Drummond '51, whose career took him from office manager to social studies teacher, grew up in Oneida, NY, where he was born on February 19, 1929. A son of Robert W.'12, business executive and trustee of the College, and Olive Tryon Drummond, he was nephew of Richard C.S., Class of 1901, Nelson L., 1902, and Alexander M. Drummond, 1906, as well as W. Gregory Tryon '24. Drummond, who was graduated from Sherrill High School, took courses at Oberlin College for three years before transferring to Hamilton in 1948 as a junior.The move back to his home area was prompted by reasons familial and financial following his father's death.

Greg Drummond, who had his heart set on career in journalism, became an enthusiastic and aggressive reporter for The Spectator. Despite weak eyesight and occasional ill health, he brought keen and inquisitive mind and impressive energy to his quest for news. He seemed to be everywhere on campus at once and put in long hours as associate editor working on the paper in the basement of Root Hall. Among his most treasured memories in later life were the interviews he conducted with such visiting celebrities as Eleanor Roosevelt and Norman Thomas. A member of Alpha Delta Phi and elected to the journalism honorary Pi Delta Epsilon, he received his diploma in 1951.

Rather than journalism, however, Greg found himself working for Goodyear Tire Rubber Co. as an office manager for its retail stores in various upstate New York locations. In those years, he met his future wife, Shirley R. Hobbs, an elementary school teacher. They were married on August 21, 1954, in Schenectady. After dozen years with Goodyear and with three children, he decided at the age of 34 to"retread" himself as teacher. Working for Goodyear in Providence, RI, at the time, he left the company in 1963 to pursue graduate study in education at Rhode Island College.The following year, he returned to central New York and began teaching high school social studies and especially American history at Jordan-Elbridge Central School, west of Syracuse.

Greg Drummond, who obtained his M.A.degree in teaching from Rhode Island College in 1967, continued as faculty member at Jordan-Elbridge for 22 years. He found those years most satisfying and never developed what he called "the TGIF syndrome." During his tenure he was the faculty advisor to several student groups, including the yearbook staff, and regularly chaperoned dances "where he was known to jitterbug with anyone who could keep up with him." Chosen once as Teacher of the Year by his students, he retired in 1986.

Residing in Jordan and long active in the community, Drummond held volunteer and leadership roles in numerous organizations from the Cub Scouts and Little League to the village planning and zoning boards, and the Jordan Community Council, which he served for many years as president. Also a golfer and former secretary of the Jordan Golf League, he finally realized his youthful journalistic ambition by writing and editing the school district's newsletter and writing columns for the local newspaper. In recognition of his services to the community, which included helping to bring medical professionals to the area and efforts to save the school district's Head Start program, he was named, along with his wife,Citizen of the Year in 2000 by the Greater Elbridge Chamber of Commerce. He was also inducted in 2006 into the Central School's Hall of Fame.

Gregory A. Drummond, devoted alumnus, was still residing in Jordan when he died on January 20, 2007. In addition to his wife of 52 years, he is survived by two sons, Peter G. '79 and Andrew B. Drummond; daughter, Susan H. Drummond; and seven grandchildren and his sister.