Raymond E. Joslin '58, Former Two-term Member of the Trinity College Board of Trustees

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Ray 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 need.

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.

 
Very truly yours,
 
James F. Jones, Jr.
President and Trinity College
Professor in the Humanities