It is with great sadness that I write to
inform you that Raymond E. Joslin, an outstanding Trinity alumnus and
former two-term member of the Board of Trustees, died Friday, August 2,
2013, at age 76. Ray’s passing is an enormous loss for the community as
well as for me personally.
graduated from Trinity in 1958 with a B.A. in economics and then
attended Carnegie Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School.
He went on to become an icon in the world of cable television. The
founder and former president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication
and former senior vice president and member of the board of directors of
the Hearst Corporation, Ray was described by Broadcasting & Cable
as a “… cable television pioneer, a United States media ambassador, and
corporate entrepreneur.” In 2010, he was inducted into the 20th Annual
Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to pioneers,
innovators, and stars of the electronic arts.
Ray played a major role in bringing cable TV
to rural areas in the 1960s, and his vision for the medium began to
grow. He helped create Continental Cablevision, Inc., which became the
third largest cable company in the nation and eventually became part of
Comcast. He was a co-founder of several major cable television networks,
including A&E, The History Channel, and Lifetime, and he led in the
development of ESPN.
His list of board memberships and volunteer
activities was long. He was the founding chairman and lifetime trustee
of the Walter Kaitz Foundation, which seeks to advance the contributions
of women and multiethnic professionals in the cable industry. He also
served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Boys Hope of
New York, the St. Elmo’s Foundation, and the Bruce Museum of Greenwich,
and he was a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences and the Cable Pioneers Club.
While a student at Trinity, Ray was president
of Delta Phi fraternity and was active in the Inter-Dormitory Council
and the Senate. He was a member of the fencing team and took part in the
Canterbury Club, Chapel Signers, and Concert Choir. He also was
involved at WRTC.
After graduation, his ties to Trinity
remained strong. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees for two
terms, from 1991 to 2001 and again from 2003 to 2007. He was a founding
member of the Elms Society (formerly the McCook Fellows Society), which
honors individuals who have provided for the College through planned
gifts. He served as vice president of the Class Executive Board, and he
gave of his time as a class agent and a Long Walk Societies volunteer.
The College recognized him with several honors, including the Eigenbrodt
Cup, the Alumni Medal for Excellence, the President’s Leadership Medal,
and the Alumni Achievement Award. He also was honored with his
inclusion on the Wall of Honor.
Ray believed strongly that education and
environment could profoundly change the course of a young person’s life.
He was the first member of his family to attend college, something that
was possible because of the financial aid he received. As one of
Trinity’s most dedicated and engaged alumni, he devoted much of his time
and financial resources to helping students with demonstrated financial
The Joslin Family Scholarship, which Ray and
his wife, Alicia, created in 1999, so far has granted approximately 90
scholarships to low-income, well-deserving high school graduates
attending Trinity. The scholarship was created in honor of the
life-changing experience that Trinity offered Ray, who grew up in foster
homes and his grandparents’ tenement in South Providence, Rhode Island.
In a recent College publication, Ray was quoted as saying, “It was a
tough neighborhood, and I wanted desperately to get out.”
Ray added his belief that good luck doesn’t
just happen. “If you put yourself in a good arena with good people, good
things will happen,” he said. “Trinity was that good arena for me. It
was the place where my life took an entirely different course. Trinity
opened the door to a brand new life for me.”
In turn, Trinity has been the recipient of
Ray’s extraordinary legacy of love for his alma mater. I am confident
that he will long be remembered for his generosity and his steadfast
loyalty. Ray truly was a beloved member of the Trinity community, and
his passing will be keenly felt. Indeed, he was one of the finest.
A memorial service for Ray has been set for
Friday, September 20, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. at Christ Church Greenwich, 254
E. Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, Connecticut.
Our thoughts are with Ray’s wife, Alicia, and his three children, Jennifer, David, and Jeffrey.
James F. Jones, Jr.
President and Trinity College
Professor in the Humanities