We mourn the loss of James Hester, NYU's 11th president from 1962 to 1975.
A man of manifest intellect, talent, ideas, and energy, he was named NYU's president in 1962 at age 37, and his appointment resonated with the excitement of a new generation taking the reins of great institutions throughout the country. Hester understood that a great research university must have a great research library at its heart, giving rise to the creation of Bobst Library.
At a time of tumult—both for the University and the nation—his was a steady hand on the tiller, and he confronted the many challenges that came his way with candor, wisdom, personal charm and dignity, and great integrity. Most importantly, in the face of financial difficulties, he was willing to contemplate what must have seemed unthinkable—the closing of NYU's Heights Campus in the Bronx—because he foresaw that NYU's bright future would be tied to its historic presence in Greenwich Village. In so doing, he set the stage for the NYU we know today.
On behalf of the Trustees, faculty, students, and administrators of NYU, we offer our deepest sympathies to his loved ones and family.
Martin Lipton, Chair, NYU Board of Trustees
John Sexton, President, NYU