Thomas Haight Chalfant


Died April 18, 2007

College: Branford

Tom completed his freshman and sophmore years at Yale. At the beginning of his junior year, he had a nervous breakdown. He sought treatment at the Institute of Living in Hartford, Connecticut, and was diagnosed as suffering from a form of schizophrenia. After undergoing treatment for several months, Tom convalesced at home in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, returning to Yale from time to time to visit former classmates.

Tom soon married and continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, majoring in English. After receiving B.A. and Ph.D. degrees, he accepted a position at Alabama State University in Montgomery, eventually becoming a full professor. His courses were popular with the undergraduates—particularly his course on Henry James, which always had a waiting list.

Tom died in 2007. I will always remember him for his friendship, his kind disposition, his devotion to teaching, and his brilliance.

— by Bob Zimmerman