Sign in / Join

Hugh Macaulay

A great teacher, superb economist, and wonderful man died yesterday, Alumni Professor Hugh Macaulay. Hugh inspired students unlike any professor I have known. He challenged them to think and work hard, but he was polite beyond imagination. Students loved him for this. His reach extended to colleagues as well. Don Boudreaux, Chair at George Mason, was drawn to Hugh at Clemson in the early 90s, a decade after Hugh had retired. Hugh was just special in many many ways. I'll be brief here, and point those of you with a Clemson connection to the Economics Department's page for more on Hugh's story. Don posted an appreciation at Cafe Hayek this morning, and a member of Hugh's reading group, Steve Spearman, posted his at The Fat Triplets.

But allow me one last, personal observation. As Don notes, Hugh retired over 20 years ago because he was losing his sight due to macular degeneration, and he ultimately became legally blind. But he remained a voracious reader, dominating his reading group (!) according to Steve's post. He became a tech-savvy 81 year old, communicating regularly by email and using digital technologies to download books and listen to them in recent years. Though blind, I never saw Hugh use a cane or a dog. He simply memorized the steps when walking in familiar places, and relied on the elbows of his friends to guide him elsewhere. And even though he could'nt see, his mind remained so sharp that he could guide me with directions while driving to places in Greenville, 45 minutes down the road from Clemson. He was an incredible man. We will miss him, but his spirit will live on in Clemson, and in the hearts of his students and colleagues across the globe.