Joe Platt’s wisdom was as subtle as it was deep

Joe Platt’s wisdom was as subtle as it was deep. Harvey Mudd College became what it was and what it is by Joe’s gentle guidance. As a student, I remember his gentle encouragements. As an alumnus, I could begin to get a glimpse of what he accomplished, and how he did it. From many choices of faculty selection (“Hiring Tom Helliwell was one of the best things I ever did.” Joe told me one Alumni Weekend as Tom was giving a presentation to the enthralled alums.), to ensuring HMC was co-educational from the beginning (“Who would marry a female mathematician?” a founding trustee asked. “I did,” Joe said, ending that discussion.), to providing finance support to the college (some efforts paying off many decades after they were performed), Joe Platt is responsible for improving many of our lives. To that debt, we can but try emulating his spirit.

Jonathan Mersel '75
Trustee of Harvey Mudd College