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To honor a man who died at 97 is not an occasion for mourning in the usual sense. It is a time for words which bear affectionate witness to a memorable episode in the changing of the seasons. Those of us who knew Thomas W. Swan shared a privilege we value, one of the most important ever vouchsafed to us: we have been in the presence of a good man, whose life among us was and will remain an inspiration, not only for the superlative quality of his work, but also for the warmth and grace of his being. What Dean Swan and Judge Swan did has influenced and will continue to influence great institutions to our common benefit. What he was will long echo in our spirit.
Dean Swan's life encompassed nearly half the life of the Republic. It represents all that is finest in the life of the Republic: in the Roman style of New England and the older Yale, I hasten to add, not that of the Republic at some of its gaudier and more flamboyant moments. Dean Swan was an old-fashioned Yankee from Norwich, Connecticut. His father was a graduate of Yale College and a respected country lawyer in Norwich. Dean Swan was staunch rather than ebullient; disciplined and reliable, rather than spectacular; a child of duty, not of ambition; a leader by quiet example and force of character, never by panache or charisma.
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